The legendary former CEO of Bear Stearns, Alan "Ace" Greenberg, died today at 86 of complications from cancer. Greenberg led Bear Stearns during its decades of growth, expanding it from 1,000 to 6,300 employees, before its 2008 collapse which helped precipitate the financial crisis.  

He was respected and admired for his innovation, wit and inspiring management philosophies, all of which were beautifully captured in his 1996 book "Memos from the Chairman." Among the best-known missive was his legendary 1985 "paper clip" memo, which lectured his staff to save money by skipping paper clips and blue envelopes.

Here are some of most memorable memos (check out the hilarious footnote on the last one!):

  • Ace Greenberg
    Alan 'Ace' Greenberg, vice chairman emeritus of JPMorgan Asset Management and former chairman and chief executive officer of Bear Stearns Cos., speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Greenberg talked about his new book, 'The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns.' Photo: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Ace Greenberg
    Wall Street legend Ace Greenberg passed away today aged 86 Photo: Google Images

Ace Greenberg Memo January 10th 1983 Photo: Google Books

Ace Greenberg Memo5 May 2nd 1983 Photo: Google Books

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Ace Greenberg Memo4 May 28th 1980 Photo: Google Books

Ace Greenberg Memo3 May 5th 1981 Photo: Google Books

Ace Greenberg Memo1 October 5th 1978 Photo: Google Books

Ace Greenberg Memo6 August 9th 1985 Photo: Google Books

Ace Greenberg Memo 7 June 21st 1991 Photo: Google Books