Greenberg, who was nicknamed Ace, died at the age of 86 due to complications from cancer, according to this son Theodore. Greenberg presided over the financial firm, making it one of the world's leading investment banks before its collapse during the 2008 financial crisis.
Greenberg started at the firm in 1949 and worked his way up through the ranks to eventually become the chief executive in 1978, running the firm until he left in 1993. During his tenure as CEO, Bear Stearns increased its workforce from 1,000 to 6,300 and shareholders' equity stood at $1.8 billion by the time Greenberg stepped down.
After stepping down, Greenberg continued to work as an equities trader at the firm.
Two funds managed by Bear Stearns were the first to collapse during the financial crisis as clients grew worried about packaged mortgages sold by the firm. J.P. Morgan Chase eventually bought the firm for $10 a share, after initially striking a deal for $2 a share.
Greenberg was raised in Oklahoma City and studied at the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship. he was an avid bridge player, a magician, and loved to play pool and stalk game in South Africa.