Muriel Siebert Dies: Wall Street’s First Woman Passes At 80

Finance pioneer Muriel Siebert died on Saturday at the age of 80. Siebert was a legend on Wall Street and became the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

Siebert was also the first woman to head one of the exchange’s member firms. Jane H. Macon, a friend and board member of Siebert’s firm, announced that her death was caused by complications of cancer.

Siebert, also known as Mickie, came to New York in 1954 with, according to her, “$500, a Studebaker and a dream,” reports The New York Times.

Mickie got a $65-per-week job as a trainee in the research department of Bache & Company. She changed jobs three times because the men working with her made more than she did.

Eventually, she struck out on her own to buy a seat on the NYSE. But it wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped. The first nine men she asked to sponsor her turned her down. However, the 10th agreed and she was on her way.

After two years of trying Siebert was finally able to buy the seat in December 1967, according to Fox News. It was a historic day and one that wouldn’t be repeated by another woman for 10 years.

Along with her new position, Siebert also established her investment firm, Muriel Siebert & Co. Inc., in 1969. It was later transformed in 1975 to a discount brokerage house.

True to form, Muriel Siebert came with the same brash attitude as her male colleagues. And her attitude helped her succeed. She became the first woman superintendent of banking for New York State in 1977. After serving five years, she returned to her own company.

Siebert was honored for her efforts on Wall Street in 1992 to make the workplace equal for men and women. But while she donated millions of dollars toward equality of women, she warned, “There’s still an old-boy network. You just have to keep fighting.”

Muriel Siebert never married or had children. She is survived by her sister Elaine.