The Human Investor, Part I

In 1969, today's legendary and inevitably controversial investor, businessman and lawyer; Emile Gouiran, was a Vietnam war decorated Vet and hero, and was about to have his first child David. He knew then that he would ensure that his child, and all children over which he could bring his influence, would not suffer his long and difficult upbringing in orphanages, foster homes, welfare pavilions and institutions for juveniles – some oddly religious – and all for unwanted children.

In 1965 he had moved to New York from Paris France. He was 16. He worked jobs as he could get them, never lacking in resourcefulness he managed. In 1966 he enlisted in the US Marines and he also met Donna Ryan, then 16. They married when she was 18 late in 1968, and had their first child David in Brooklyn, in July of 1969 – Emile was 20. Earlier in 1968 he had been medevac'ed from Vietnam on the hospital ship Hope and returned in a coma to be honorably discharged from St Albans Naval hospital some months later in 1968. A deserving decorated war hero, he was well received by the press, military and public officials .

From 1968 onward his relentless drive that would make the mark of his passage, was triggered by Donna's first pregnancy. They had three children, David, Alan and Steven. He worked unending days to build a series of successful business enterprises. At various times he operated and owned a repossession agency, a collection agency, a real estate business, a large real estate brokerage company, an insurance agency, a mortgage banking business, a bank (s), to name just a few. With 80 buildings in New York City, direct or indirect ownership in banks, mortgage banks, real estate brokerages, a home insurance repair company, funding entities and more, he while at the helm decided to go to law school, he graduated with honors and passed in the same examination period both the New York and New Jersey Bar exams. He chose to practice in and was admitted to the New Jersey State Bar, where he served as Chairman of the Bank's Committee authoring a number of published articles and other works on real estate, and notably on the use of usury as a defensive and offensive tactic . Most of this he accomplished in his 20's, he capped it off in his early 30's. Enough to make quite a number of individuals ill with envy.

Emile Gouiran is controversial, a modern Robin Hood who most say "stole" from the rich to give to the poor, some would add himself included. His critics and their negative contentions do not withstand the slightest and reasonable scrutiny. A study of the facts reveals that his legal troubles were more a consequence of his steadfast determination and willingness to challenge authority and do so with a callous disregard for diplomacy. His critics advance insupportable nonsense which has been defeated time and again by truth. Controversial assuredly, border line, and even pushing the limit admitted, but Emile Gouiran has never convicted or found to have performed a dishonest or illegal act in more than 40 years of ruffling feathers sometimes mercilessly – including those of the legal authorities. In fact his primary detractors voice their alliance. For example, a State Attorney General admitted: "(t) hat in more than 5 years of intensive investigations not a single act of wrongdoing could be found to have been performed by Emile Gouiran"; a judge dismissing a criminal case stated: "in years of procedure, the authorities have been unable to present an iota of admissible evidence pointing to any guilt on the part of Emile Gouiran. Another judge stated in still another case:" While the behavior complained of could be stated as controversial and pushing the limits of ethics, it is not illegal. "Lawyers who practiced with and against him said" Emile was a fabulous lawyer … he was nothing short of brilliant. "

Speak to the literally hundreds if not thousands of individuals who in the 70's and 80's were bailed out by albeit expensive mortgage loans that no one would grant, or to the businessmen who sought financing for their businesses and could not get it; Emile was a savior, the bank of last resort, always there for a price. The price was never questioned or complained of though. At worse critics were compelled to level a charge of opportunistic. Some saved by Gouiran's cash used and embellished with falsity his controversial past and dealings, calling him in one case a "rat", omitting of course that Emile Gouiran is never shy of legal proceedings or of having his conducts reviewed by administrative or judicial authority as millions in legal fees incurred will testify. The "rat" won each and every single civil and criminal proceeding initiated by his beneficiary over 20 years. The "rat" will foreclose a loan made two decades earlier and upon which no payment was ever made, but he will do so because the law says he can, not because the one called savior on the date of the loan bore the title of " rat "when payment came due.

So you've now got a good feel for the guy, gregarious and happy, honest, but a formidable adversary and competitor who will persevere for years to reach his end – capitulation is simply not in his dictionary. And accomplish his end he does, whatever the cost. Emile is a terrible diplomat always in trouble but always vindicated. You've got a guy that in his life time, has made millions for others and given at least as much in support of children everywhere.

Emile Gouiran retired in 1988 at the age of 40 and following his 1985 plan moved to Paris. There he continued various activities including an accredited law professorship, a law practice and a dabble – Gouiran style – in real estate. His dedication was to fulfill a dream helping children who, very much like him as a child, suffer the ultimate pain of the unwanted. Thrown in orphanages, in special homes, in welfare or foster homes, institutions for juveniles, all because society has no place to throw them – away.

Every day he walked the streets of Paris. The native Parisian (born in the US) had not realized until then how drastically a few years of bad socialist government had ruined and degraded what he recalled as his idyllic childhood playground. He sought in and out of Paris the institutions and orphanages, but these were, when found, located in neighborhoods whose notable features were smashed streetlights, shattered benches, drug-dealing thugs, and spaced-out bums. He knew that the trash-choked weeds in the public parks hid infected heroin needles, and the bushes, muggers. The lawns were gone, only dirt meandering from sunny dry dust to rainy mud.

A visit to his "home" orphanage in Orleans was horrific; no governmental resources allocated or planned, none. Financing, what little existed came from stretched out protestant or catholic religious orders. Kids, just like in his days were hungry, improperly dressed and distressed, but everything was even more dark and dirty.

"I was totally horrified," Gouiran said "But I think horror is a tremendous thing to have on your side. It is so desolate; you have to do something." He launched a two-decade-long campaign to improve the lives of children in orphanages, acquired land for baseball and soccer facilities, and capped it in 2004 with an $ 11 million gift-over $ 37 million from the start to the day-from the Foundations , to restore Christmas for Orphans, provide Christmas trees and individual gifts to resident children living in orphanages. That dramatic gesture of daring generosity made hundreds of demoralized children believe for the first time that they might not be entirely forgotten. It restored my own optimism and self-confidence, reminding me and all of us that human ingenuity can solve problems human folly has caused. Some altruistic offerings, after all, can boost a lot of spirit.

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