Gene R. Saffold, one of the first African Americans to lead the public finance banking group at a Wall Street bank, died Monday following complications from recent surgery to correct problems with a heart valve. He was 57.

Mr. Saffold’s first job was as a paperboy delivering the Chicago Bulletin and he went on to spend 30 years in public finance taking turns as a banker, adviser, mentor and manager in Chicago before making the leap to the issuer side to serve as Chicago’s chief financial officer.

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