When Joseph Sullivan joined the Chicago Board of Trade in the late 1960s, he was a finance industry novice put in charge of a moonshot project to create the first marketplace for trading listed stock options.

A former Wall Street Journal political reporter, Sullivan worked tenaciously and eventually won over both industry skeptics and regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the Chicago Board Options Exchange in 1973.

The CBOE, which spun off as a publicly traded company in 2010, grew into one of the world’s largest options exchanges and a staple of securities traders worldwide.

“He changed the face of American finance,” said Bill Brodsky, who served as CEO from 1997 to 2013.

Sullivan, who served as the inaugural president of the CBOE until 1979, died Oct. 2 at the age of 82 in Knoxville, Tenn., where he grew up and ultimately retired.

A Princeton University graduate, Sullivan earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and started his career in 1961 as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Atlanta. In 1963, he joined the newspaper’s Washington bureau, where he covered Congress for five years.

In 1968, Sullivan made a dramatic career change, going to work for the Board of Trade in Chicago, where he was put in charge of the options exchange project.

“It was a pie-in-the sky concept of trying to trade options on major U.S. stocks,” Brodsky said. “He had big hurdles to overcome.”

Patterned after the Board of Trade, the CBOE created standardized securities contracts — betting on the future price of IBM’s stock, for example — and a clearinghouse to act as intermediary between the option buyers and sellers. When it launched on April 26, 1973, the CBOE traded less than 1,000 contracts, Brodsky said.

The Chicago-based CBOE

An infamous Peruvian gold trader at the center of a multibillion-dollar money laundering case in Miami has died of COVID-19 in his homeland, according to authorities and news accounts.

Pedro David Pérez Miranda, 60, died Saturday at a hospital in Lima, Peru, after struggling with the coronavirus respiratory disease since late August.

His alias was “Peter Ferrari,” dubbed with that nickname by the news media because of his love for flashy cars, beautiful women and the yellow precious metal, gold.

Ferrari, who had been in custody in Peru before his hospitalization, was accused in a 2017 indictment of trading tons of gold illegally mined in the country’s rainforest and selling it to three Miami brokers at NTR Metals. They pleaded guilty to a $3.6 billion money laundering conspiracy were sentenced to several years in prison.

Ferrari, changed along with his two sons and a former bodyguard, had earned a notorious reputation as a suspected smuggler of “dirty gold” who used shell companies, straw owners, false paperwork and cash bribes to move the precious metal to lucrative markets in Miami and other parts of the United States.

Federal proseutors alleged that South American drug traffickers washed their illicit proceeds from cocaine through the unlawful gold mining industry in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, where Ferrari was suspected of acquiring most of his precious metal for export to the United States.

Once the U.S. government receives formal confirmation of his death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami is expected to dimiss the single-count indictment aganst Ferrari. But his twin sons, Gian Piere Pérez Gutierrez and Peter Davis Pérez Gutierrez, and former body guard, Jose Estuardo Morales Diaz, could still be extradited for prosecution in Miami.

“When a defendant dies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismisses charges against that person,” said