Edmund O’Connor was the architect of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and for decades he was a major figure in the Chicago derivatives trading community. He was Vice Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade when he came up with the idea for what became the first U.S. exchange for trading standardized options contracts on stocks. A veteran futures trader, he bought his first membership at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1952. Together with his late brother William, he formed some of Chicago’s largest derivatives trading firms, which were later sold to big banks. He grew up on Chicago’s west side and served with the Marines in World War II.