• October 19, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

I Have Often Walked

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The Queens cop who inspired a legendary movie

Walter Egan, a plumber, married Agnes Ryan in 1927 in New York City. In 1929 they bought a house at 83-45 63 Ave. in Rego Park. On Jan. 3, 1930 she gave birth to a boy, Edward. However, the marriage soon soured. Agnes divorced Walter and in 1934 married Arthur Massett, an FDNY official who lived and breathed his job. At the time of his retirement, he was department chief.Young Eddie moved into a Sunnyside apartment with his mom and stepfather. Agnes gave birth later to two daughters. Then suddenly on Dec. 5, 1942 Agnes died at age 37. Eddie, then 12, went to live with his grandmother. At 17, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on Jan. 16, 1947. At age 19, stationed at Camp LeJeune, NC, he married Dolores Popkivich on July 11, 1949.

The tennis star who grew up in Woodhaven
Posted: October 10, 2019

Vitas Gerulaitis Sr. was born in Galkiemis, Lithuania on Feb. 16, 1915. After World War II he was a displaced person in a resettlement camp in Hamburg, Germany. On Feb. 18, 1949 he left for America on a transport ship named Marine Shark.

After arriving in the United States, he met and married Aldona Cenkus, a nurse who came to America from a resettlement camp in Augsburg, Germany. They lived on Logan Street in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Their first child, a boy, Vitas Jr., was born on July 26, 1954. Vitas Sr. was naturalized a few months later on Nov. 11, 1954. A year later they were blessed with a baby girl named Ruta, on Nov. 18, 1955.

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Whitey Ford went from Astoria to Cooperstown
Posted: October 03, 2019

Edward Charles Ford was born in New York City on Oct. 21, 1928, the only child of James and Edna Ford. They lived on 66th Street in Manhattan.

When he was 5 they moved to an apartment building in Astoria. His father worked for Con Ed and played on the company baseball team. He was a partner in the Ivy Room, an Astoria bar.

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Bringing up Tony, the Benedettos of 33rd Street
Posted: September 26, 2019

Giovanni Benedetto, born in Italy in 1896, arrived in New York City on the vessel Berlina on May 27, 1914.

He anglicized his first name to John and, five years later, married Anna Suraci.

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The Queens man whose son played Archie Bunker
Posted: September 19, 2019

Edward Joseph O’Connor was born Sept. 4, 1898, the youngest of four children born to saloonkeeper John O’Connor and his wife, Della. As a young man, he graduated from the New York University School of Law and was admitted to the bar. On Jan. 20, 1924 he married Elise Patricia McGrath.

The first of their three sons, Carroll O’Connor, was born on Aug. 2, 1924 in Manhattan. He would years later become the famous actor best known for playing Archie Bunker on “All in the Family.”

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Thursday 09/12/2019
The popular TV judgewho once lived in Astoria
Posted: September 12, 2019

Marilyn Milian was born in Manhattan on May 1, 1961. Her parents, Jorge and Georgina, were immigrants from Cuba. Jorge was a laborer and general contractor and Georgina was a stay-at-home mom. By 1963 they had put together enough money to move out to Queens and rent a new, semiattached, legal three-family brick house at 32-25 41 St. in Astoria.

These were Marilyn’s formative years, when she acquired her Queens accent which she still retains to this day.

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Thursday 09/05/2019
Never destined to be a cartoonist: St. Albans’ Roker
Posted: September 05, 2019

Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., born Feb. 12, 1932 in Freeport, Bahamas, West Indies, knew the value of hard work as he watched his mother, Remilda, toil long hours as a maid for wealthy people on Long Island.

After he married he became a New York City bus driver in 1953 and worked the busy Flatbush Avenue route, accepting long hours of overtime to advance himself. The couple bought their first house at 128-27 148 St., South Ozone Park the next year.

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Thursday 08/29/2019
Former AG Eric Holder’s roots go back to E. Elmhurst
Posted: August 29, 2019

Eric Himpton Holder was born on October 29, 1903 on Barbados in the British West Indies, in St. Joseph’s Parish, a part of the island so rugged they it the Scottish District. The future father of an attorney general arrived by ship to America as a 13-year-old.

His first decades here were spent as a chauffeur, but he discovered he could be more successful as a real estate broker. He petitioned for citizenship on May 2, 1930 and was naturalized eight months later.

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