After the meltdown, he was the money guy who stood up.
And the thing is Robert Benmosche didn't have to.
Comfortably enjoying retirement, it was Benmosche who an embattled AIG turned to make things right
And nervous regulators in Washington hoped would make a financial industry right.
Let's just say back in August 2009 in the middle of a meltdown that seemed like a pretty tall task.
The giant insurer wasn't only hurting, it looked helpless and even with a $182 billion taxpayer rescue, it still looked hopeless.
Enter a not-so-gentle Ben.
All Benmosche demanded in coming back was that the government would get off his back, and let him do what he knew was right.
That included paying bankers the salaries he thought would keep 'em, and not the much lower salaries the Obama White House wanted to give 'em.
Benmosche's point was simple some bankers screwed up, but not all. So why penalize all.
It worked. Regulators caved. And AIG roared back.
Paying back the bailout dough even as Benmosche quietly and bravely battled something far more serious.
Cancer--he never explained what kind of cancer-just that it was bad.
He told me he wasn't the story, that his cancer wasn't the story, that America coming back and capitalism coming back, that was the story.
Until today, we heard, the man who helped make that story and star in that story had died.
The insurer who some say single-handedly insured a recovery, and made good on this country's financial policy.
Robert Benmosche dead at age 70.