William J.O'Neil


News organizations and titles: Founder and chairman, Investor's Business Daily, 1984-present; creator of the first daily computer database of the U.S. stock market, 1964.

Legacy: Recognizing a need to provide better information to the individual investor, Mr. O'Neil launched his national daily, which emphasized financial data, in a competitive challenge to The Wall Street Journal. Despite many early predictions that it was destined to fail, the paper continues to grow in circulation.

Personal: Born March 25, 1933.

Family: Wife, three daughters and a son.

Education: Graduate, Southern Methodist University.

Books: "How to Make Money In Stocks"; "The Investor's Business Daily Almanac, 1992: The Fact, the Figures, the Trends"; "The On-Line Investor: How to Find the Best Stocks Using Your Computer"; "William O'Neil Essential Lessons for Investment Success: 24 of the Most Important Investment Techniques from the Founder of Investor's Business Daily."

What he has said about himself or his publication: As quoted in "The Press and the World of Money" by John Quirt about challenging The Wall Street Journal: "We didn't have a staff of hundreds of reporters, so we knew we couldn't stand up to the Journal editorially at the start. And of course we didn't have the aura. In the eyes of some people, we were the upstarts from California challenging the Holy Bible."

About competition between the two papers: "It's good for the country to have another voice speaking out on business and finance every day. And it's particularly good to have that voice coming from some place other than New York, where the publications and the networks tend to think pretty much the same thoughts and say pretty much the same things."

Home run stories or accomplishments: At 30, Mr. O'Neil bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and set up William O'Neil & Co., an institutional research firm. Ten years after launching, Investor's Business Daily had a paid circulation of 149,557; today, circulation is 265,000, and total readership is estimated at 850,000.

What he made news or headlines for: In 1991, the publication's name was changed from Investor's Daily to Investor's Business Daily.

What others have said about him or his publication: Jim Losi, senior vice president at Charles Schwab & Co., San Francisco, on the paper's 10th anniversary: "We would not consider not using it (for advertising). For the serious investor, it is like the Bible--so we can reach many of our customers and prospects. We do not feel we get the necessary coverage with The Wall Street Journal or Investor's Business Daily by themselves."

Ed Silverman, a former reporter for the publication: "Basically, this is Wall Street's racing form."

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