sadnessIn the year below me at Johns Hopkins there was an Englishman with an infectious laugh. Jonathan Cooper was good company and a really nice guy. He is also the first person I ever met who made and lost over a million pounds – and stayed exactly the same. He held down various jobs after Bologna but in the City of London’s heyday he set up a business selling healthy sandwiches to young City traders. It was a living, but the break came when a local authority put out a call for tenders to provide sandwich lunches to its schoolchildren. Jonathan put in a bid and, much to his surprise, won the contract. One contract led to another and in a very short space of time he went from running a sandwich bar to industrial production and from earning a living to becoming a millionaire. Jonathan’s Dad ran a garage and salesroom and Jonathan had always been a sleeping partner in the business. Then his Dad fell ill and the business first foundered and then collapsed. Jonathan’s fortune disappeared as fast as it had come but Jonathan himself remained the same lovely guy with that infectious laugh. It has been years since I have seen him. We drifted out of touch. But I know we would have carried on just where we left things – laughing late into the night. But we won’t be able to do that any more. Today I received the news from Bologna that Jonathan is dead, felled by a lightning-fast cancer, leaving a wife and three kids behind and the fondest memories of that infectious laugh and endearing smile. Sometimes clichés cannot be avoided. The world is much the poorer for his departure.