The world of investment knows Jack Dreyfus Jr., president of Dreyfus Fund Inc., as a financier with a remarkably analytical eye for the future performance of securities. This week, in the story beginning on page 62, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED takes pleasure in presenting the same Jack Dreyfus as a horseman and breeder with a remarkably analytical eye for the future performance of Thoroughbreds. Racing fans stand to learn a few things about the investment business and investors something of the lively business of running a racing stable; SI readers of all interests are invited to enjoy the personality story of an American with steady wits in sport and Wall Street.
The assignment to find and tell the story of Alabama-born Jack Dreyfus was given to Novelist Joe David Brown (Stars in My Crown, The Freeholder, Kings Go Forth), who happens to be an Alabaman himself. Brown quickly found that his problem was getting enough time with his subject, without interruption, to show the dimensions of his man. " Jack Dreyfus does get away to the track or to his breeding farm in Florida occasionally, but not at the expense of his Wall Street affairs," notes Joe David. Sessions in Dreyfus' office were not enough for Brown, who declares himself "constitutionally unable to write about anybody on short acquaintance." Finally, after he had talked also with Dreyfus' friends and associates in Wall Street and had scouted the Florida horse farm, Brown and his subject slipped off to Dreyfus' Manhattan penthouse for a long and leisurely luncheon, followed by a long and leisurely talk—"and only then did I feel I knew him well enough to put him down on paper."
The time-consuming novelist's method that Joe David Brown brings to his writing nowadays is an acquired one. His first job after the University of Alabama ('34) was hustling a police reporter's beat for the Birmingham Post. After a spell as city editor of the Dothan ( Ala.) Eagle he set out to explore the U.S., working on newspapers in Chattanooga and St. Louis, press-agenting for a Mississippi River showboat and serving as a warden for the Alabama Department of Conservation. He was just settling down as a reporter for the high-speed New York Daily News when World War II came along. Brown jumped in with both feet as a forward-observer parachutist with the 101st Airborne Division, earned a Purple Heart and a Croix de Guerre. A frequent contributor to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Brown has recently written for us on such subjects as the Murchison brothers of Texas, how to catch a sturgeon and the nation's affection for the Daisy air rifle.
While Brown was working on the Dreyfus story, our picture department was looking for a suitable photographic illustration to open it—suitable, that is, for a Wall Streeter who has made a perambulating lion the advertising symbol of his firm. Their solution was the photograph by Neal Barr on page 62. The lion in the background is not as live as it may look, Dreyfus having agreed with the photographer that "all live lions are very unpredictable." Our lion came originally from Uganda and is now booked for occasional appearances by the Cypress Hills Taxidermy Studio of Brooklyn, N.Y.