Mark Haines: Rick Santelli Remembers

My heart goes out to the the family of Mark Haines. I was saddened and shocked when I first heard of Mark's passing. To me, Mark was always larger than life, both in stature and on air.

I never aspired to be in the news business. For me, every aspect of what I have grown to love....reporting on the financial markets...all happened in a random way, in large part by being at the right place at the right time.

I started as a guest on CNBC in the fall of 1994, as a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. Even though CNBC officially began its life in 1989, business cable news was still in its infancy when I started doing interviews. The formats and the structure were still evolving.

Mark Haines, in retrospect, was a huge force in shaping the look, feel, and texture of what has become a staple of broadcast media-cable business news.

By the mid-1990s, he was already a TV veteran and he welcomed me graciously to the CNBC family. And that really sums up how I feel as I type this—as part of a tight—knit family that has lost a patriarch.

In Memoriam: Mark Haines
In Memoriam: Mark Haines

Every time someone calls me "Ranger Rick" I will think of the day Mark first gave me that nick-name. Giving out nick-names was one of the many quirks of Mark Haines. His no-frills, honest -style made it easy for him to switch gears between the intense, no nonsense interviewer and the gentle soul, gushing about how delicious his home grown tomatoes tasted.

Many will never forget how he helped all of us get through one of the darkest days in our history, the tragic events of September 11, 2001. His calm, fatherly, yet emotional hours of broadcasting that morning will never be forgotten.

Mark Haines touched many lives, including mine. As sad as I am that he won't be opening "Squawk on the Street" tomorrow in his bellowing voice, I am heartened by the notion that I am a better person having known and worked with such a consummate professional.