After losing his father, Euzeb, and brother, Robert, at the age
of six in a 1940 automobile accident, Mr. Brault entered the
world of business as a young boy to help support his mother,
Mary, and surviving brother, Jack, and sister, Barbara. He
started out as one of the original soda jerks at Schennum’s
Drugstore at Division and Mayfield in Chicago’s Austin
neighborhood, where Mr. Brault was raised. He later became a
successful Chicago entrepreneur.
Mr. Brault worked his way through Fenwick High School and
DePaul University. While attending DePaul, he was a stock
runner on the floor of the Midwest Stock Exchange for Dan Rice
& Company, a stock and bond company. Subsequently, Mr.
Brault moved to Chesley & Company, and in 1968, Mr. Brault
became Chesley & Company’s sole shareholder, President and
Chairman. Chesley & Company merged with Burton J. Vincent
& Co. in 1974, and Mr. Brault served the merged firm as
President of the Board and Chief Operating Officer. In 1977,
while on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Mr. Brault
appreciated the opportunities presented by membership to the
NYSE, and he purchased his own membership on the spot.
Mr. Brault pursued other business opportunities as well. In
1979, he purchased Suburban Trust and Savings Bank in Oak Park
with two other investors, and he thereafter acquired Drexel
National Bank on Chicago’s south side. Mr. Brault served as a
director of both banks for many years before selling his
interests. Mr. Brault also owned a stake in the Atlanta
Braves, and in 1974, he was present in Atlanta when Hank Aaron
broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.
In 1979, Mr. Brault founded Brauvin Real Estate, a national
commercial real estate investment firm. From 1979 to 1985,
Brauvin Real Estate was the real estate investment arm of A.G.
Edwards Co. in St. Louis. During this time, Brauvin Real
Estate acquired shopping centers and office buildings
throughout the country. After the Tax Reform Act of 1986,
Brauvin Real Estate pioneered investments strategies for
single-tenant, triple-net lease properties. Under Mr. Brault’s
leadership, Brauvin Real Estate created 16 real estate
investment funds and three real estate investment trusts that
collectively acquired several hundred properties located in 37
Mr. Brault was active in civic activities. He was elected a
Commissioner of the Park Ridge Park District and served in
that capacity from 1973 to 1979, including as President for
three years. He also served as an arbitrator for securities
industry disputes for the National Association of Securities
Dealers and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Mr. Brault had a wide range of interests beyond the realm of
business. Together with his wife, Mary, Mr. Brault traveled to
more than 60 countries on seven continents. A deeply religious
man, Mr. Brault was especially thankful for having met Pope
John Paul II and having attended Mass in the Pope’s private
chapel with his wife and daughter, Eva, in 1993.
As Mr. Brault’s son, James Brault, explained, “My dad was the
ultimate self-made man. He had an innate sense for business,
but he was also creative in many other ways. He was a painter,
he learned to play the piano in his late 50s, he was an art
collector, he built doll houses and miniature train sets.. But
above all else, he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather
and great-grandfather. This is where his heart was. We will
miss him more than words can express.” Mr. Brault is survived
by Mary, his wife of 52 years, his children Jerry, Jr., Jim,
Cathie, John, Molly, and Eva, 22 grandchildren, one
great-grandchild, his sister Barbara and his brother Jack.