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Prominent St. Thomas Philanthropist Margaret Fagenson Jumps To Her Death In New York City

JUMPER: Margaret Fagenson

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A prominent St. Thomas philanthropist and wife of a Wall Street executive jumped to her death from a skyscraper in New York City recently.

Margaret Fagenson, 68, jumped off the terrace of her 14th floor Upper East Side apartment just before 11 a.m. at the Henderson House apartments at East 86th Street.

Fagenson’s landed face-first on the sidewalk outside her building and was declared dead at the scene.

“I heard a loud ‘boom’ noise and I waited a couple minutes,” Rodney Bissoondath, a doorman from a nearby building, told the Daily News. “By the time I went outside, the cops were already putting sheets on the person.”

Fagenson was the wife of Robert Fagenson, the CEO of money management and investment broker firm Fagenson and Co. The couple have supported a number of charities and animal rescue groups, including the North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA and the Humane Society of St. Thomas.

They were highlighted in a “Donors of the Day” piece in the Wall Street Journal in 2011—Robert Fagenson told the paper they considered the animal groups “feel-good causes” and that in their home, “pets are like members of the family.”

Fagenson had reportedly been suffering from depression, though a friend expressed shock at her death in an interview with the NY Post. “She is the last person who would do such a thing,” the anonymous friend told the tabloid newspaper.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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