Richard C. Gruber was born in New York City on March 25, 1954. As the only child of Paul and Eve Gruber, a CPA and a bookkeeper, Rich became interested in accounting and finance at an early age, doing the monthly accounting work for one of his father’s clients when he was 8 years old. As a result, Richard can say that he now has 60 years’ experience (not counting overtime). Richard has been notoriously healthy during his lifetime. He had his tonsils out in 1957 and was “down” for several days. On October 8, 1968, he contracted conjunctivitis, and although he lobbied to be allowed to go to school, Eve and Paul said no, so Rich missed his first (and last) two days of school ever. On October 8, 2022, he will have gone 54 years without missing a single day, or 65 years having only missed the two days in tenth grade. His goal is to run the 54- year streak to 75 years before considering slowing down in 2043.
Richard went to the Fieldston School in Riverdale, New York. He was a three-letter man, managing the football, basketball and baseball teams. When he was scouting out colleges, he attended a New York Giants football game at Yankee Stadium in December 1970 and caught two field goals in his fishing net. He was put on the front page of the sports section and was quoted saying that he wanted to go to the University of Pennsylvania. Rich sent a copy of that news story to the Penn admissions office, and they admitted him, although his grades were not quite up to Ivy League standards. He excelled at Penn, graduating with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Wharton. He quickly passed his CPA exam on the first try, and his career was started. In between graduate and undergraduate school, he worked as a Staff Accountant for Ernst and Young, becoming the youngest professional hire in the history of that National Firm.
Richard C. Gruber, CPA, decided to live in sunny Florida, so the day after taking the CPA exam, he drove to Fort Lauderdale to join the national accounting firm Grant Thornton. He subsequently became an audit manager for that firm, a controller for a regional leasing company, and has been an instructor for accountants and other business professionals since 1980. He is a seventeen-year veteran instructor for the sales course and the world-famous Dale Carnegie Course in “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” The training, offered to business leaders throughout the world, emphasizes human relations, self-confidence, worry control, enthusiasm, public speaking and leadership. Gruber was instructor of the year for an unprecedented five consecutive years.
He has been the managing partner of Gruber and Associates, P.A., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since its inception in 1986. Mr. Gruber manages an accounting and administrative staff with a diverse client base including professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses.
In 1984, Rich went into training for his most important role: father. He went out on a blind date with Barbara Henderson on May 26, 1984 and was engaged four months later. On May 11, 1985, Richard and Barbara Gruber were married, and ready to start a family.
Barbara had a sonogram in October 1989, which revealed that a boy was due on June 9, 1990. Rich predicted that they would leave for the hospital at 3:00 am on the due date. So, when they started the car at 2:57 am on June 9, 1990, Paul Charles was right on time for his debut. Paul officially became a third generation only child when his parents were not able to be blessed with any more children. Paul graduated from Pine Crest in 2009, and after spending some time exploring the USA is back at Washington University in Saint Louis getting straight A’s and preparing for the next chapter of his life.
As empty-nesters Barb and Rich enjoyed travel, photography and musical theater. Very few clients have been able to name a Broadway musical that is not in Rich’s collection on iTunes. Rich and Barb cruised extensively to five continents, and were members of the Nikon Mentor Series, a group that organizes photo shoots throughout North America and Europe.
Rich’s other passion is sports, and as an avid sports fan, Richard has been lucky to witness five World Series, four Super Bowls, three Stanley Cup Presentations and two NBA championships. The apex of his spectating career was a trip to the Masters in 2003, which inspired him to create the “Wall of Masters Badges” that can be found on display in the lobby at Gruber and Associates.
When the Knicks miraculously defeated the Lakers in Game Seven of the 1970 NBA finals, Richard was the first fan onto the court to celebrate, something that can still be seen on ESPN classic and the NBA website!
Rich is proud to continue to grow and expand Gruber and Associates. The firm is moving towards a totally proactive model with corporate clients while also expanding tax, career, retirement and estate planning for personal clients.