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Burton Pugach was born in the Bronx on April 20, 1927, the only child of Russian immigrants Paul and Anna. He became a brilliant attorney, who built a practice as an ambulance chaser (which some consider an outdated term). He married Francine Reiffen in June 1951 and bought a beautiful home in New Rochelle, NY, and started a family. He had it all until he met the stunningly beautiful Linda Riss in 1957.

The smitten Pugach got a quickie Alabama divorce from his wife and chased Linda relentlessly. She rejected him. He hated to lose and paid three men to blind her with lye in June 1959. Convicted, he was sentenced to prison for 30 years, but served only 14 for good behavior.

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Morris “Moses” Weinstein was born in New York City on July 8, 1912. He grew up poor — his father, Louis, worked long hours as a clothing presser.It took Weinstein seven years and a dozen jobs to work his way through Brooklyn Law School. His n…

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Benjamin Stern was born in Manhattan on July 11, 1923 and was raised in the Bronx. According to the City Clerk’s records at the Municipal Archives, he was married to Ray Schiffman in April 1947.Benjamin was co-owner and operator of the Aura R…

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Eli Orowitz married Kathleen Margaret O’Neill, an actress and comedian, in Queens in June 1932. Their first child, a daughter, Evelyn, was born on Nov. 12, 1933, followed by their son, Eugene Maurice, on Oct. 31, 1936. According to R.L. Polk’…

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George Edward Horn was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 28, 1918. His parents bought a brand-new house in 1925 at 115-41 217 St. in Cambria Heights.He was the first man through the westbound lane of the Lincoln Tunnel when it opened in 1937 when he …

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John Towner Williams was born on Feb. 8, 1932 in Flushing. He was a middle child, with an older sister, Joan, and younger brother, Gerard. They lived comfortably in a big house at 143-40 Poplar Ave. His dad, John Sr., was a professional drumm…

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Melinda Katz was born on Aug. 19, 1965 to Jeanne Peiluck and David Katz. She has three older brothers, and the family lived at 67-42 Ingram St. in Forest Hills.The year after Melinda was born, her mother founded the Queens Council on the Arts…

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Jean Evelyn Slutsky was born on Oct. 12, 1923 in Brooklyn. She worked for a furniture store, publishing company and finally the IRS, where she met her future husband, Mortimer “Marty” Nidetch, whom she married on March 29, 1947 in Brooklyn.Th…

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Anne Frances Robbins was born in New York City on July 6, 1921. Her mother, Edith Luckett, a prominent actress, was reported in the newspapers to have married Kenneth Seymour Robbins of Pittsfield, Mass., on impulse on July 27, 1916 and was n…

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Alfred Eisenstaedt was born on Dec. 6, 1898 in Dirschau, West Prussia, or what is today Tczew, Poland.He became a full-time photographer in 1929 and was respected early on. He was not comfortable being Jewish in Germany, so he left for Americ…

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Kwamé Holland was born in Queens on March 28, 1973. Kwamé means born on Saturday; however, his mother choose the name in honor of the first prime minister of Ghana, Kwamé Nkrumah.His father, Tahir, and mother, Carol Drew, fostered a love of m…

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Malcolm Little was born in Omaha, Neb. on May 19, 1925 to Minister Earl and Louise Little. His parents were followers of Marcus Garvey and nurtured his principles of black self-determination into their eight children. Malcolm decided to chang…

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George and Rebecca Latimer were born into slavery in Norfolk, Va.They fled to Chelsea, Mass. in 1842 to be free. Quincy Lewis Howard Latimer was born there on Sept. 4, 1848. At 17, he dropped the first name Quincy and joined the Union navy as…

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James Kilmeade, born in Longford, Ireland, in 1905, came to New York in 1925, became a citizen and married in 1930. His son James Jr. was born in 1931. He became a restaurateur, with Kilmeade’s of Long Island City and Kilmeade’s Inn of Manhas…

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Albert de Matteo was born poor in the Bronx in 1932, one of seven children. After graduating from NYU he opened up a furniture store on Steinway Street in Astoria. He married Donna Bendinetti in 1960. They moved into an apartment building at …

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John Patrick McEnroe Jr. was born on Feb. 16, 1959 in Wiesbaden, West Germany, while his father, John Sr., born on March 25, 1935 in Manhattan, was stationed overseas in the Air Force. John Sr. met the future tennis star’s mother, Katherine “…

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Jacob “Jack” Ingerman married Minnie Crown on Oct. 20, 1928 in Brooklyn. Their first son, Arthur, was born March 9, 1931. Five years later to the day on March 9, 1936 their son Martin was born.They originally lived in Brooklyn. After World Wa…

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Actress Shelley Winters was born in 1920 to Rose Winter and Jonas Schrift, who immigrated to America from Austria in 1907 on the ship Pennsylvania. His entry paperwork gave his occupation as “Schlacter,” which is an Ashkenazi Jewish occupatio…

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Ernest Anthony Kehr Jr. was born in Davos, Switzerland on Sept. 10, 1911, the son of Ernest Sr. and Martha. They immigrated to the United States in 1913 settling in Astoria. His father was successful as a pastry chef who became a caterer, all…

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Francis Ford Coppola was born on April 7, 1939 in Detroit, the middle child of Carmine and Italia Coppola. He was given the middle name Ford because of his father’s employment as a flautist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which was sponso…

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Philip Ward Francis was born in Elizabeth, NJ in 1900. He was a Quaker who had a business in the silk industry. He married Edith Albertson in Manhattan on Feb. 24, 1923. She gave birth to Anne Francis in Ossining, NY on Sept. 16, 1930. After …

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Martin James Landau was born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, the son of Austrian immigrant Morris Landau, a machinist for a sewing machine company, and his wife, Selma. He had two older sisters, Elinor and Constance, and the family lived on Bed…

Gloria Bergman was born in Pittsburgh on March 31, 1927 the daughter of Oscar Bergman, a draftsman, and wife Rose.Both a teacher and a performer, on Oct. 20, 1951 she married Theodore “Ted” Okon. She came to New York City as an accomplished, …

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Daniel John Bongino was born in Queens on Dec. 4, 1974. He originally was from a broken home in Jackson Heights, but his mother remarried and he was raised in Glendale, attending Saint Pancras School and going on to Archbishop Molloy High Sch…

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Herbert Stempel was born in 1926. He was blessed with a photographic mind for retaining information. After serving in World War II, he went to City College under the GI Bill.He married Toby Mantell in September 1954, the daughter of a wealthy…

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Samuel Marx and Minnie Schonberg, European immigrants, met in New York City and married in 1884. They had six sons; Manfred, Leonard, Arthur, Julius, Milton and Herbert. Manfred died in infancy but the other boys became vaudeville comedians k…

Michael Cullen, born in 1884, the son of Irish immigrants, went to work at age 18 in 1902 for the A&P grocery store chain. In 1919 he went to over to Kroger Stores and became a district manager. He had big ideas for growth and expansion b…

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Actor Sid Caesar was born in Yonkers, NY on Sept. 8, 1922.The youngest of three sons of luncheonette owners Max and Ida Caesar, Sidney was a saxophone player who wanted to study music until he met producer Max Liebman while serving time in th…

Vito Romita immigrated to America in 1921. Armed with only a third-grade education he worked as an ice man, got married and lived in an apartment on Ellery Street in Brooklyn.John Romita was born on Jan. 24, 1930, the first of five children. …

Rossolav Andruschkewitsch was born June 15, 1927 in Highland Park, Mich. His parents had emigrated from Moscow, Russia a year earlier on the SS Grasse. In 1932, they became American citizens.Their son’s name was Americanized and shortened to …

The father of a future Queens borough president, Cyril Sargent was born on April 7, 1898 in British Guyana. He arrived in New York City on April 6, 1919 via Rio de Janeiro, on the ship Christian Bors. He married Artemesor (Audrey) McKenzie in…

John Santucci was born on April 2, 1931 to Tommaso “Thomas” Santucci and Mary Pagano. His father, an Italian immigrant who traveled to America in 1905 at the age of 17, only had an eighth-grade education, but experience as a plasterer and wor…

Jacob “Jack” Marantz, a Romanian immigrant, married Bella Kozinn in Manhattan on June 27, 1910. Their first born, Saul Bernard Marantz, arrived on July 7, 1911. A brother, Charles, and sister, Edith, soon followed.Saul married Jean Dickey in …

Max Ryklansky was born Aug. 12, 1897 in Russia. At age six, his family of six children immigrated to America via Antwerp, Belgium on the ship Kroonland, landing in New York on Oct. 14, 1903. At immigration their name was changed to Rickles. M…

Israel William “Bill” Silverman was born in Manhattan on Nov. 13, 1906 to Austrian immigrant parents. With an eighth-grade education, he became a radio and television repair technician and married Mildred Goldberg on Nov. 1, 1936. Briefly, th…

Frederick Timmins DeCordova was born in New York City on Oct. 27, 1910. He fell in love with the stage at an early age and progressed to dialogue director, actor, director and producer. He lived with his parents, Margaret and George, who move…

Josephine Mentzer was born on July 1, 1906 to Max Mentzer, a prosperous Corona hardware store owner, and Rose Schotz, an immigrant from Hungary. Josephine was her mother’s sixth child; the elder five were from Rose’s first marriage. The famil…

David Stephen Caruso was born in Queens on Jan. 7, 1956 to Charles and Joan Caruso. Charles was a magazine and newspaper editor and Joan a librarian. Two years later a sister was born named Joyce. Charles decided to leave the marriage and Dav…

Shoe salesman Charles Ritter married Lucy Hale in Brooklyn on April 25, 1900.On Valentine’s Day 1902, they were blessed with a baby girl they named Thelma. She had the acting bug early in life, and married fellow actor Joseph Moran on April 21, 1927.

Herman Ganser was born in Austria in May 1909. He came to America with the trade of machinist and married Rita Conrad in June 1936, and they settled in Manhattan.A short time later a baby boy, Robert, was born. After World War II they decided…

Piano teacher Helen Collomb and Abraham Tuvim, who was nine years her junior, welcomed their only child, Judith, on June 21, 1921 after four years of marriage. In 1927 when young Judy was only 6, her parents divorced. Judy and her mother move…

Edward Michael Henry Jr. was born in Astoria on July 20, 1971. His father was a dairy manager and his mother, Christine, was a bookkeeper.They lived in a postwar apartment building at 32-56 41 St. in Astoria. A sister, Colleen, was born in Ma…

A 21-year-old CPA named Saul Alpern married Sara Presser, two years his senior, in August 1935 in Brooklyn.They were blessed with a baby girl Joan in 1937. On May 18, 1941 another daughter, Ruth, was born. They lived in Brooklyn at 240 Sulliv…

Dry cleaning store owner Herman “Hy” Pearlman married Reenie Nevler, daughter of a Russian immigrant brushmaker, in Brooklyn in January 1936. Reenie gave birth to their first and only son, Louis Jay, at age 41 on June 19, 1954. They left Broo…

Morton Drescher married Sylvia Rosenberg in the Bronx in 1953. Their first daughter, Nadine Iris, was born in September 1956. A year later on Sept. 30, 1957, Francine Joy was born. The growing family moved out to Queens at 147-49 72 Drive in …

Italian immigrant Giovanni Broccoli, known as John, married Cristina Vence, who was 22 years his junior, on Sept. 7, 1902. They welcomed their first son, John, two years later, followed by future movie producer Albert Romolo Broccoli on April…

Max Weinstein was born in Manhattan on June 4, 1924, son of an Austrian immigrant fish peddler. He had a passion for diamonds and started as a diamond cutter for the Universal Diamond Co. as soon as he turned 18.In June 1950, he married Miria…

Philip Grueber was born in Lemberg, Poland on Nov. 19, 1913. He arrived in the United States in August 1921 and became a citizen in April 1936.Exceptionally handsome and well-built, he became a professional wrestler under the names Jack Bell …

William Mahairas was born in Patras, Greece, in January 1892. He arrived in New York with his brother Jerry in 1915 and partnered in opening up a successful restaurant in Long Island City. He and his wife, Demetra, 15 years his junior, marrie…

Comedian Anne Meara was born in a Brooklyn hospital on Sept. 20, 1929 to first-generation children of Irish immigrants Mary Dempsey and Edward Joseph Meara, a rising star in the American Standard Co. — which at that time made radiators and sa…