William F. O’Connor

*inducted in 2007

William F. O’Connor was a legendary figure on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. A member of the exchange since 1955, he stood out in the trading pits with his ever-present green plaid jacket and shock of white hair. A true entrepreneur, he co-founded O’Connor & Company in 1959, First Options of Chicago in 1972, and O’Connor and Associates in 1977. He also exercised considerable influence on the evolution of the CBOT, serving not only as its chairman from 1990 to 1992 but also as an important voice for innovation and technological change. In particular, he was one of the early champions of single stock futures and the guiding force behind the development of Project A, the exchange’s first successful electronic trading platform. He also was an early proponent of cooperation between the two Chicago exchanges. He proposed the “Futures Exchange Common Goals Committee” to explore ways the two Chicago exchanges could unify such areas as operations and clearing to their mutual benefit. The Chicago Sun-Times may have described him best: “a tenacious Irishman who elevated Chicago’s financial markets to international prominence.”