Ronald Tartaro
Ronald Tartaro

In Tandem

It is not every man you would want to share a tandem bicycle with. The front and rear riders have to be in tune, with no battles of the will, no bullying. The person in front, usually the man, steers, sets the pace, makes the decisions. "You do have to be exactly in sync," said Karen Reilly, who rode behind her husband, Ronald Tartaro.

They climbed and coasted well together. Not that he was predictable, she said, but he was logical and reasonable. "He always did the thing that made the most sense," she said.

The couple worked hard to get their children two girls, ages 7 and 5, and a boy, 3 out bicycling. When there were just two girls, the parents would tow them in a trailer behind the tandem bike. After their son arrived, he took his place in the trailer, and the oldest girl rode in a one-wheeled bicycle attached to Ms. Reilly's.

Mr. Tartaro, 38, an executive vice president at Fred Alger Management, harbored big dreams of wider-ranging travel. "He wanted to buy a boat and sail around the world," with family and friends joining in for different legs of the trip, his wife said. "He had it practically funded, not that we were going to do it anytime soon."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 24, 2002.

The Columbia Spectator.
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Published on December 06, 2001
Ronald Tartaro, SEAS 85, 86

Ronald Tartaro was the star of his family. He was the son of Croatian immigrants, a first-generation American whose life was filled with business and personal success exceeding that of anyone else in his family, younger or older.

He had always had big aspirations. "When he was little--two, three years old--he used to talk a lot. He was always talking about his plans. He liked soccer, because his father liked soccer. He was saying how he was going to be a big soccer star, make a lot of money, marry this person, be a grandfather," his uncle Nikola Muzic said.

"Later on, he became quiet. He didn't really talk much. He just smiled. He didn't become a soccer star, but he was the one who did the best in the whole family. Managing mutual funds. Nobody else in the family got that far."

The oldest member of his generation, Tartaro was born in New Jersey in 1963. As a child he loved the water. He used to fish on the beach of Long Island Sound near Babylon, and take sailing lessons. He was always smart enough and always positive enough to be labeled a future success.

Within a few years after graduating from Columbia's engineering and applied science school with a B.A. in 1983 and an M.S. the next year, he was working hard in the city's financial district, managing mutual funds. He joined Algier Group and became very good at what he did. He managed Algier's Mid Cap Growth Fund, which is listed as a good buy by most investment banking companies.

His success extended to his personal life. He was building a beautiful new home in New Jersey with six garages on a couple of acres for his wife, Karen, and their three children.

"He was building this great big house," Tartaro's uncle said. "His other house was big, but it was already getting full." Tartaro told his uncle when the two were at the construction site with a smile that he hoped to retire and looked forward to spending time with his family in the new house.

"He was always smiling. You would never see him upset. But he could do things," his uncle said.

Tartaro is survived by his wife and children as well as his parents, Teresa and William.


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