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May 1, 2013

NEWS from

One Library Plaza, New Rochelle, New York 10801-9998  
(914) 632-8254   Fax:  (914) 632-5386

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Barbara Davis
Community Relations Coordinator
May 1, 2013

The 325th Anniversary Event Inducted Nine New Honorees into the Walk of Fame

On April 27th, a number of New Rochelle luminaries were celebrated in a day-long event, “New Rochelle Notables Day”, which included the induction of nine individuals into the New Rochelle Walk of Fame. 

The day began with “Authors of New Rochelle Biographies”, during which authors spoke about researching and writing about dancer and cultural anthropologist Pearl Primus, dancer and trend-setter Irene Castle, and local businesswoman Bessie Dreizen.

Several dozen people then assembled on Library Green for remarks by Mayor Noam Bramson and Roderick Kennedy, the founder and benefactors of the New Rochelle Walk of Fame. Seven new interpretive signs, honoring nine individuals, were then unveiled. "

Following a reception under sunny skies, a wonderful program of music written by New Rochelle residents or about New Rochelle was performed by talented members of the Village Light Opera Guild was held in the Ossie Davis Theater.

The day concluded with a winning performance of original music written and performed by current New Rochelle residents who comprise the group, Avalanche.

The New Rochelle Walk of Fame was dedicated in 2011, and is located on New Rochelle’s Library Green, at Huguenot Street between Memorial Highway and Lawton Street. It is comprised of attractive interpretive signboards relating the stories of  nationally notable individuals with distinct ties to New Rochelle, and their contributions to America. 

Strategically located in the gardens lining the Library Green pathway, the signs were created and funded by former resident and historian Roderick Kennedy Jr., working in partnership with the New Rochelle Department of Parks and Recreation, the Downtown BID, the New Rochelle Public Library, and City Historian Barbara Davis.

Mr. Kennedy was born in New Rochelle and developed a great affection for the city while spending his early childhood here. The Walk of Fame is a micro history of America as reflected in the lives of New Rochelle’s famous sons and daughters, representing the arts, business, politics, education, the media, entertainment and sports.

Photos from this event are available HERE


Jerry Boch, Composer and Joseph Stein, Writer
The award-winning musical, Fiddler on the Roof, was created by Jerry Bock (score), Joseph Stein (book), and Sheldon Harnick (score), while Bock and Stein were living in New Rochelle.

Nell Brinkley, Illustrator, Cartoonist
Nell Brinkley was one of the most famous American illustrators in the early decades of the twentieth century. She was the creator of the “Brinkley Girl,” a young liberated workingwoman who wore lacy dresses and her hair in curls, who became popular in songs, films and theater.

E. L. Doctorow, Novelist
An editor, professor and prolific writer, he is best-known for his works of historical fiction that include The Book of Daniel (1971), Ragtime (1975), World's Fair (1985), Billy Bathgate (1989), The March (2005) and Homer and Langley (2009).

Jay Leno, television Personality and Comedian
Jay Leno grew up on Leland Avenue in New Rochelle, attending Trinity school until his family moved to Massachusetts, in 1959.

Frederick Douglass Patterson,
Frederick Douglas Patterson was an educator, humanitarian and doctor of veterinary medicine. He is best remembered for founding (UNCF). In 1935, He was president of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University), one of the foremost African American institutions of higher education in the country, founder of the United Negro College Fund, initiator of the black Army Air Corps (Tuskegee Airmen0 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Carl Reiner, T.V. Writer, Director, and Rob Reiner, T.V. Personality, Actor, Writer, Director

In 1953, Carl and Estelle Reiner moved from the Bronx with their 6 year old son Rob to 48 Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle. The home and community became the inspiration for hit TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show staring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as the quintessential American suburban couple (1961 to 1966).

Mighty Mouse (Paul Terry, Animator)
In 1934, Paul Terry settled his pioneering animation studio, Terrytoons, in the Pershing Square Building in New Rochelle, now known as the Kaufman or “K” Building.  In 1949, he moved his studio to the former Knights of Columbus Hall at 38 Centre Avenue. Over the next several decades, the studio would create some of America’s most beloved cartoons, including the famous mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Gandy Goose and Deputy Dawg.


Madame Beatrice Alexander – Premier doll maker of the 20th Century (1895-1990)

Theresa Brewer – Singer and entertainer (1932 – 2007)

Joseph Campbell – Professor and writer about mythology and comparative religions (1904 – 1987)

Irene Castle – Dancer and trend-setter, of Irene and Vernon Castle fame (1893-1969)

Carrie Chapman Catt – Leader of the women’s suffrage movement (1859 – 1947)

Ellabelle Davis – Opera singer (1907 – 1960)

Ossie Davis – Actor, writer, activist (1917 – 2005)

Ruby Dee - Actress, writer, activist (b. 1924)

Eddie Foy – Vaudeville performer, of “Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys” fame (1856-1928)

Lou Gehrig – Yankee great and Hall of Famer (1903 – 1941)

Don Hewitt – Television producer; “60 Minutes” (1922 – 2009)

Adrian Iselin and family – Financier, philanthropist (1818 – 1905)

Elia Kazan – Director, playwright (1909 – 2003)

Walter Lantz – Animator, cartoonist; “Woody Woodpecker” (1899-1994)

Joseph Leyendecker – Artist, illustrator.

Robert Merrill – Opera singer (1917 – 2004)

Thomas Paine – The man who “sparked” the American Revolution, author of Common Sense
(1737 – 1809)

Jan Peerce – Opera singer (1904 – 1984)

Pearl Primus – Dancer and choreographer (1919 – 1994)

Alex Raymond – Comic Strip artist; “Flash Gordon” (1909 – 1956)

Frederic Remington – Artist of America’s West.

Norman Rockwell – Artist, illustrator (1894-1978)

Saint Elizabeth Seton – The first American-born woman to become a saint (1774-1821)

Buffalo Bob Smith – Radio and TV personality; “Howdy Doody” (1917 – 1998)

Whitney M. Young, Jr. – Educator, Civil Rights leader, founder of the Urban League (1921 – 1971)

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