Growing up in a blue-collar family in St. Louis in the 1940s, Edward Wedbush developed an unlikely fascination with the stock market. He and a friend, Robert Werner, each chipped in $5,000 to start a securities firm in 1955. They flipped a coin to determine who would choose the firm’s name. Mr. Werner won—and chose Wedbush to protect his own name in case the venture flopped.
Mr. Werner sold his stake a few years later. Under Mr. Wedbush, Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities grew gradually, without seeking outside capital.
For more on Mr. Wedbush’s life, visit The Wall Street Journal.