William J. Ruane
, founder of the Sequoia Fund has died. He was 79 years old and died of complications from lung cancer at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on October 4, according to the Washington Post
. The fund's Web site carried no word of his death as of Thursday afternoon.
Ruane was a co-portfolio manager for the $14 billion fund at the time of his death and was chairman of Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb.
Ruane founded the firm with Richard T. Cunniff in 1969 with $20 million raised from investors with the help of Warren Buffett. Ruane met the legendary investor in 1950 when the two took the same Columbia business class taught by Benjamin Graham.
A year earlier, he had graduated from Harvard Business School and taken a job at Kidder Peabody, where he eventually spent two decades.
Ruane grew up in Chicago's suburbs and attended the University of Minnesota, where he graduated in 1945 with a degree in electrical engineering. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and was headed to Japan when the Japanese surrendered.
Upon leaving the Navy, he worked at General Electric Corp. as an engineer before deciding to make a career change and enroll at Harvard Business School.
Ruane is survived by his wife, Joy Ruane; four children, William Ruane Jr., Elizabeth Ruane, Thomas Ruane, and Paige Ruane; his sister Patricia Lowry; and four granddaughters.
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