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The Adventures of Steve Fossett

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Steve Fossett, was known to be a successful businessman, but he is remembered for his 116 adventurous feats and records. Fossett holds the world record for the first hot-air balloon flight conducted by a solo pilot across the Pacific Ocean, accomplished in 1995. He did it again in 2002, but travelled the world. He then set the record for fastest journey across the globe in a sailboat, and for flying the first non-stop flight around the world in an airplane. He also holds the record for highest altitude in a sailplane, a record he set in 2006.

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He was born in Jackson, Tennessee and grew up in the Southern California area. Fossett graduated from Stanford, and went to Washington University in St. Louis for his Master’s degree.

Fossett made the majority of his fortune trading futures and options on Chicago markets. He founded two major brokerage companies: Lakota Trading, Inc. and Marathon Securities, Inc., both of which performed very well and made him. The trouble was that he didn’t feel alive, like he was doing anything interesting.

Fossett seemed like a Daredevil hell bent on defying death, but his adventures would not last forever. He was lost in September of 2007, and after an exhaustive search across the Sierra Nevadas, his wife had him declared dead. Fossett had not left with a parachute, did not have a transponder in his watch and lacked any way to send out a signal. His remains were located over a year later, after a hiker had stumbled across his ID cards. He did not have a parachute, nor did he take a watch that had a transponder that may have been able to send out a distress signal. There was a transponder aboard, but no signal was received.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.

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