Born: Giacomo Anthony Russo, 60 years ago in Brooklyn. His parents ran a neighborhood grocery store. Jack did errands, up to driving the delivery truck. Much business was done on credit to his mother Rose's dismay. Jack saved all his earnings so that as a teenager he paid cash for a new Porsche to an unbelieving salesman.
He graduated from CCNY with degrees in civic administration and computer and information science. He received his JD from UCLA Law School and MBAs from Colombia and UC Berkeley. All of this prepped him for being one of the top, if not THE top intellectual property lawyer in the world. With international copyright law a shambles he is widely sought to teach on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The world needs him, bad. The computer and software have become his trademark. His website is computer law.com.
I find it hard to use the term "nice" with any lawyerly reference, but Jack always eschews confrontation seeking negotiation. His advisories have birthed hundreds of startups. Included are Jobs and Wozniak whose baby Apple needed legal representation. However Jack's group insisted on a cash down payment rather than equity. Wozniak sold his battered VW bus to qualify. Wrong decision! But Jack has now created a compelling resume of successful startups. The list is growing.
But being the neighbor of the world's leading intellectual property lawyers is not what endears Jack to me. He is indeed a devoted friend wonderfully commiserating when Ruth Anne died. I was his best man in his marriage, his third, the first two defaulted to his poor judgment about females. Fortunately the third time is a charm, and Leigh is a keeper.
Jack's curiosity knows no limits. Daily my e-mail contains references of much interest to my aging portfolio which Jack continues to mine with his remote, seemingly infinite sources of information. Yesterday he was the first non-medical speaker to give a lecture to the Stanford med students of the Life Style Medicine class that I have god-fathered for four years. Jack was predictably brilliant displaying his scholarly pursuit of the fundamentals of human initiative. His topic was the "Seven Essences" modeled after Maslow. It was nearly perfect. It would have been perfect except for one pertinent aspect.
It is tough to have verisimilitude when the teacher is defective. Jack has never met a calorie that he didn't like. Being Italian prejudices his meal time restraint. His weight has already caused two new hips. I constantly belabor him to curb his appetite. He has underlined all of my writings on the topic, but he still cannot allow any morsel to go unaddressed.
Jack is my regular partner in what I continue to call "my runs," really chugging along for me but Jack's long strides set the pace. Our repartee on the 3-5 mile jaunts is always the high point of my day. Jack's mind is a cornucopia of great stuff. He always tries to interest me in becoming economics sound,
but I resist. I hate anything moneyed. With his major assist we have created the "Healthy Hundred Years" 501C3 Foundation consecrated to the mission of assuring the human potential of 100 Healthy Years.
This project is on our collective drawing board. Jack also generously underwrites our health behavior class at Stanford.
I feel immensely fortunate to have such a remarkable friend just on the other side of the fence from our property.
One of my favorite words is "abudanza." Jack fulfills this word to an extreme extent in capital letters, unfortunately also including his appetite which through early effort has already yielded two notches to his waistline. Still a way to go to realize our shared vision of Boston 2020. At that future marathon I will be 90, Jack will be 64, and hopefully leaner.
Aging is a self-fulfilling prophecy.