Gordon Gekko

Gordon Gekko

    Wall Street
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in an average middle class home. Gekko’s father was a electrical supplies salesman who died of a heart attack at age 49 with significant debts. Gekko was determined to have more financial security than his family had. After graduating from the City College of New York, which is known as the poor man’s Harvard, he started his illustrious career on Wall Street.

Living… during the height of the 1980s in Manhattan. He’s living the life of luxury in his Long Island mansion with his wife Kate and three-year-old son Rudy. Their home includes his prized art collection as well as his .45 Luger pistol, which is one of only six pistols ever manufactured. 

Profession… trader and corporate raider. With his trademark suspenders and slicked-back hair, Gekko has a corner office with one of the best views of Manhattan. He is so successful that everyone wants a piece of him, including a young stockbroker named Bud Fox who has cold called him over 39 times to try to get a meeting with him. When Bud showed up with Cuban cigars on Gekko’s birthday, Gekko finally gave in and gave him a few minutes to pitch his stock ideas. Bud reminds Gekko of himself when he was younger – poor and smart with a killer instinct; Bud just has a few things to learn.

Interests… winning. Gekko isn’t in his line of work only for the money (though it doesn’t hurt); he is in it to crush his opponents. Everything for Gekko is a game, and he is a master strategist who usually comes out on top. He says he learned everything he needed to know from The Art of War, a book that includes teachings from a Chinese general named Sun Tzu who lived in the sixth century BC. Sun Tzu believed that every battle is won before it is even started.

Relationship Status… involved mainly with himself. Gekko is not a guy who gets close to anyone. He says that if you need a friend, “you should get a dog.” 

Challenge… getting revenge on Sir Larry Wildman, a British financier who bribed Gekko’s secretary and stole RDL Pharmaceuticals out from under him. As Gekko says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Now Gekko is battling it out with Wildman over another hot stock: Bluestar Airlines, which is one of the stock ideas Bud gave Gekko.

Personality… smooth and ambitious but also egotistical, manipulative, and ruthless. Gekko doesn’t pretend to be a nice guy; he is unapologetic about his greed. Although he is clearly villainous, he still has his admirers including the young Bud Fox. After all, power is seductive.  


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