by Patricia Sellers
Originally published: July 21, 2016
Peter Staley had just been diagnosed as HIV-positive when he recognized he had another challenge to confront: He needed to tell his older brother James—better known as Jes (for his initials)—that he was gay and break the news of what was, at the time, effectively a death sentence. This was 1985. Peter was 24. He had recently followed 28-year-old Jes, whom Peter considered seriously homophobic, into a promising career at J.P. Morgan JPM -0.38% .
So began two brothers’ parallel and extraordinary journeys to leadership. Jes, now 59, rose rapidly through the ranks of J.P. Morgan and post-merger JPMorgan Chase (No. 55 on this year’s Global 500), heading asset management and, later, its investment bank. Peter, now 55, was the first U.S.-government-bond trader on Wall Street to come out as gay and HIV-positive. As a leader of ACT UP, he became one of America’s most famous—or, to some, infamous—LGBT and AIDS activists.