Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007

Gordon Macklin dies at 78

E-mail this article \ Print this article


Bethesda businessman Gordon S. Macklin, founder of the Nasdaq stock market and president of the National Association of Securities Dealers for 17 years, died Jan. 30 after a stroke in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 78.

Macklin was president of Nasdaq from 1975 until 1987 and headed NASD, a private securities regulator, from 1970 until 1987. Some 3,200 companies with a combined value of $3.7 trillion currently list their shares on Nasdaq.

Macklin was ‘‘a true business innovator who valued the power of good ideas in both his business life and in his many humanitarian initiatives,” Bob Greifeld, president and CEO of Nasdaq, said in a statement.

Macklin and his late wife, Marilyn C. Macklin, were the primary benefactors of the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Business Institute at Montgomery College in Rockville, where they endowed scholarships. They also founded the Marilyn and Gordon Macklin Institute for Intergenerational Studies at the University of Findlay in Ohio.

Charlene R. Nunley, who this week stepped down after eight years as president of Montgomery College, said Macklin really liked talking with students and brought top business people to campus.

‘‘He gave them the opportunity to see people they would have never known, if not for him,” Nunley said. ‘‘He enriched the environment very much for our business students.”

About eight years ago as the college was searching for a new leader, Macklin approached Nunley and urged her to apply. Soon after she was hired, Macklin made a major gift — initially $1.3 million — for the business institute.

‘‘His endowment provided [students] with scholarship support,” Nunley said. Macklin has given $3 million total to the college, she said.

The money has also helped obtain computers and attract guest lecturers. Several students have obtained internships at NASD using Macklin’s connections, she said.

NASD honored Macklin in 1987 by dedicating the Rockville operations center to him, naming it the Gordon S. Macklin Building.

In 2001, Macklin told the Gazette, ‘‘When I left [NASD], the chairman said, ‘We’ve given you a gold watch. What else can we give you? How about if we name the building after you?’ I said, ‘That’s cool.’”

Henry Linsert Jr., former chairman and CEO of Columbia biotechnology company Martek Biosciences Corp., said of Macklin then, ‘‘Someday Gordon will be recognized as the father of the new economy. The new economy wouldn’t have happened without Nasdaq.”

After leaving Nasdaq and NASD, Macklin was chairman of San Francisco investment bank Hambrecht & Quist from 1987 to 1992. He then chaired White Plains, N.Y., information services company White River Corp. from 1993 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2002, Macklin was a board member of WorldCom during the time a fraudulent accounting scandal led to the bankruptcy of the telecommunications giant. He was also on the board of numerous other businesses, including Gaithersburg biotechnology company MedImmune Inc. Through 2006, he was a trustee or director of 48 funds in the Franklin Templeton Group.

Macklin maintained a residence in Bethesda, where he worked from home as an independent corporate adviser, said Anna Fukara, his longtime personal assistant. He also had a house in Delray Beach.

Macklin was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated from Brown University in 1950. After graduation, he worked for McDonald & Co., a brokerage and investment firm in Cleveland.

He is survived by four children, Gordon S. Macklin III, Nancy Hook and Lisa Stargel, all of Mount Airy, and Gary Macklin of Punta Gorda, Fla.; and 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Staff Writer Steve Monroe contributed to this report, which originally appeared in The Business Gazette.

Gordon Macklin

A celebration of Gordon Macklin’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Montgomery College’s Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to one of the following organizations:

Montgomery College Foundation, Attn: Kayran Moore, 900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850.

Chesapeake Chapter of the National Ataxia Foundation, Attn: Elizabeth M. Eisenhaur, CC-NAF, Assistant Treasurer, 14407 Barkwood Drive, Rockville, MD 20853.

Marilyn and Gordon Macklin Intergenerational Institute, Attn: Vicki Rosebrook, 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay, OH 45840.