New York Times Portraits of Grief

Paul Acquaviva: A Hotshot With a Soft Spot

You could put together a credible story about the good-looking star jock from Wayne, N.J., who was nabbed by the prettiest girl in high school and who continued to do well — rising hotshot in the financial world, monthly Friday night cards-and- beer with the guys, the house in Glen Rock, N.J., strewn with empty water bottles and bottlecaps. You would certainly be accurate in describing Paul Acquaviva, 29, a vice president at eSpeed, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, but you would not be right.  
For you would also have to talk about the guy who was so bright that he knew the one question on his math SAT that he missed, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers, and from Columbia Law School. A man so tender that when he learned that his first child was a girl, he jumped up and down with untrammeled joy, who would tell Courtney — that high school girlfriend, later his bride — that she became only more beautiful to him over the years, never more so than when she was pregnant and ungainly.  
Then you could meld those stories — the macho jock with the sensitive scholar — and you would see the outlines of a gifted friend and family man, father to Sarah, 2, and to Sarah's brother, who is expected to begin his own story in December.