Jon Corzine has been a risk-taker throughout his careers in finance and government.

The former U.S. senator and New Jersey governor went on to lead MF Global. The Wall Street brokerage firm suffered a spectacular meltdown and filed for bankruptcy protection Monday.

Corzine is known to be driven, impatient and stubborn. Those traits helped him move from the Illinois farm where he was raised to the heights of power on Wall Street and politics. But they may also be partially responsible for his public downfalls.

Corzine spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs. Later, he spent $62 million on a U.S. Senate campaign but grew so bored with the job he launched a bid for New Jersey governor after less than one term.