Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
Skip to main content
Tags: cantor fitzgerald | ceo | howard lutnick | tragedy | world trade center | remembrance

Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick Remembers 9/11, Death of Most Staff on Tragic Day

(Newsmax's "At 20: September 11th")

By    |   Saturday, 11 September 2021 10:30 AM EDT

The famed CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald feels like he has lived a life in two different worlds – before 9/11 and after – having had his life spared by taking his son to kindergarten that fateful day and now honoring the lives of 650 of his employees by hiring some of their children.

"There's definitely survivors guilt, make no mistake about it," CEO Howard Lutnick told Newsmax in an interview that aired Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. "You know, why? My brother was in the building and my son started kindergarten that day. If he had started the next day, you know, I wouldn't be here telling this story.

"My best friend Doug, his son started the next day, and so he's gone."

Lutnick said his raw emotions looking back on Sept. 11, 2001 "made it feel like it was yesterday," but, as time has changed him, his work to honor his lost colleagues carries on.

"I only worked at Cantor Fitzgerald 18 years on the events of Sept. 11 and now it's been 20 years since then, so I've had more years under this world and I did the last," he told host Shaun Kraisman.

"So now, I'm hiring the children of people who were killed, and think of how amazing that is for us."

Lutnick noted he has raised more than $180 million for the families of his employees trapped above the fire, "650 beautiful human beings" and goes to remember them, touching their names at the 9/11 memorial every year.

"They're all listed together. They're all listed people with they worked with, and it matters to me," Lutnick said. "And on Saturday morning, that's where I will be, touching their names. We read their names, show pictures; we all get together at the memorial, and I think it's beautiful."

Lutnick remembers the events in harrowing detail, first noting how fate spared him, "taking my son Kyle to his first day of kindergarten."

"He had a little wet hair, got a little backpack on, and, I took a picture and the time was in the lower right-hand corner: 8:46, two minutes before the plane hit."

Lutnick then started receiving phone calls, jumping in a car to Fifth Avenue, "because I knew that was quickest way I could see the building."

"My driver started crying," Lutnick said. "I said, 'let's just get there; let's just get there.'"

Lutnick was hoping he would hear any positive news of survivors getting out from his office on the 101st to 105th floors of the One World Trade Center, just above the impact zone.

"I was grabbing people as they came out, asking them what floor they're on, and the highest floor I got to is the 92nd floor," he recalled.

"And then I heard this sound, the loudest sound that ever heard, so I started running," he continued. "Remember, I had no idea. I hadn't seen the video. I haven't seen the plane hitting the building. I had no idea what was going on. I started running. I'm wearing a suit and tie and I'm running my tail off, and there's this black tornado following me."

That black tornado was the raining debris of the collapsing tower that was captured on cell phone video.

"I drove under a car, and I thought to myself, 'son of a gun, I was alive up to now and I'm going to suffocate and I'm going to die,'" he said. "I just laid under that car until the black dissipated.

"Then I started walking uptown and I looked like I've been flushed down the chimney."

Lutnick said he took a pay phone from a woman, who turned in anger.

"She saw me and I was just black with soot and she just walked away like she saw a ghost," he said. "And I called my wife and told her I was alive."

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV's including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Eric Mack | editorial.mack@newsmax.com

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The famed CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald feels like he has lived a life in two different worlds, before 9/11 and after, having had his life spared by taking his son to kindergarten that fateful day and now honoring the lives of 650 of his employees.
cantor fitzgerald, ceo, howard lutnick, tragedy, world trade center, remembrance
Saturday, 11 September 2021 10:30 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved