Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

DeWitt Clinton High School

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all


  • Martin Henry Balsam (1919 - 1996)
    Bronx-raised actor Martin Balsam was best know for his role as Murray Klein on the CBS sitcom Archie Bunker's Place from 1979 to 1981. He was the oldest of three children of a ladies' sportswear sale...
  • Countee LeRoy Cullen (1903 - 1946)
    Countee Cullen (May 30, 1903 – January 9, 1946) was an American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Early life Countee Cullen was possibly born on May 30,[1] although due t...
  • Paddy Chayefsky (1923 - 1981)
    Sidney Aaron "Paddy" Chayefsky (January 29, 1923 – August 1, 1981), was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenp...
  • DeWitt Clinton, NY Governor, US Senator (1769 - 1828)
    DeWitt Clinton was an American politician and naturalist who served as a United States Senator, Mayor of New York City and sixth Governor of New York. In this last capacity, he was largely responsible ...
  • Capt. August Martin (1919 - 1968)
    Capt. August “Augie” Harvey Martin (1919-1968). The first African-American to captain a U.S.-scheduled commercial air carrier. He died on a mercy mission to Biafra whilst attempting to land his plane d...

DeWitt Clinton High School is an American high school located in the Bronx, New York City, New York.


Clinton opened in 1897 at 60 West 13th Street at the northern end of Greenwich Village under the name of Boys High School, although this Boys High School was not related to the one in Brooklyn. This school was renamed for New York politician DeWitt Clinton in 1900.

In 1906 it moved to a newly constructed building on Tenth Avenue between 58th Street and 59th Street in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood—the same year as the opening of the nearby DeWitt Clinton Park where students "farmed" plots in what was the first community garden in New York.

The school's H-shaped building, designed by Charles B. J. Snyder, was said to be the biggest high school building in the United States at the time.[2] After the school moved to the Bronx it became Haaren High School. It is now Haaren Hall on the campus of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Until a high school education became compulsory in the early 1930s, Clinton, like all other public schools in the city, had a Classics Department, where Greek and Latin were taught. Perhaps its most famous teacher was history teacher Dr. Irwin Guernsey, known to generations of students as "Doc" Guernsey. He came to Clinton in Fall, 1914 and retired in Spring, 1959, due to illness. A cripple with two "irish" canes, he taught from the chair and won twice in his lifetime the title of Master Teacher in New York City. He was also head of the Honors Association, Arista. The History wing is named "Guernsey Hall" in his memory, and one can still see the library cart "Doc's Special" that students used to wheel him to class on the last years of his tenure when he was sick.

The school moved to a new building on a 21-acre (85,000 m2) campus at 100 West Mosholu Parkway South and East 205th Street in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx in 1929, where it has remained. Paul Avenue, which runs to the side of the school from Mosholu Parkway to Lehman College, is named after a DeWitt Clinton High School principal, Dr. Paul. It was under this principal that the school moved to its current location in the Bronx.

In the 1930s its enrollment peaked at 12,000 and it was said to be the largest high school in the world. Enrollment by 1999 was about 4,000. It remained the last gender-segregated public school in New York City until 1983. The current principal is Geraldine Ambrosio, the first woman to hold the post at the school. In 1996, Clinton was selected by Redbook magazine as one of the five most improved schools in America. In 1999, US News and World Report designated Clinton as one of 96 outstanding schools in America.

The school receives government aid because of the low income status of its students. As of 2006, the school has a large Hispanic population, followed by Blacks and Asians. Caucasians, primarily Albanians, comprise a tiny minority.

Notable alumni

(Alphabetically by last name)

  • Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director, Children's Museum of Manhattan (class of 1971) [17]
  • Don Adams (1923–2005), actor best known for his work in the TV series Get Smart.
  • Stephon Alexander, physicist, Penn State (class of 1989)
  • Ronell Alman, singer, songwriter, poetry ambassador, percussionist, entertainer, educator (class of 1992)
  • Robert Altman, photographer (class of 1961)
  • Charles Alston (1907–1977), artist, muralist (class of 1925)
  • Allan Arbus (born 1918), actor (class of 1933).
  • Nate Archibald (born 1948), Hall of Fame basketball player (class of 1966) [23][24]
  • Don Lane aka Donald Morton Isaacson (1933–2009), American-born Australian entertainer, TV talk show host and singer (class of 1952)
  • Richard Avedon (1923–2004), photographer (class of 1941).
  • William Axt (1888–1959), film composer, The Thin Man (1935) (class of 1905)
  • Sanjay Ayre (born 1980), runner (including bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 4 x 400 meters relay) (class of 1999).
  • Harold Baer, Justice, New York State Supreme Court (class of 1923)
  • James Baldwin (1924–1987), writer (class of 1942).
  • Martin Balsam (1919–1996), actor (class of 1938).
  • Romare Bearden (1911–1988), artist (1925–1928)
  • David Begelman (1921–1995), President, Columbia Pictures (class of 1938)
  • Lou Bender (1910–2009), pioneer player with the Columbia Lions and in early pro basketball, who was later a successful trial attorney.
  • Murry Bergtraum, president, NYC Board of Education (class of 1931)
  • Ira Berlin (born 1941), historian, author (class of 1959)
  • Pandro S. Berman (1905–1996), film producer (class of 1923).
  • Edward Bernays (1891–1995), "Father of Public Relations" (class of 1908).
  • Edward Bernstein, First director of the International Monetary Fund (class of 1922)
  • Shelton Hale Bishop, Episcopal priest (class of 1907)
  • Robert Blackburn (1920–2003), artist.
  • Max Bloom, Justice, New York State Supreme Court (class of 1926)
  • Pedro Borbón, Jr. (born 1967), professional baseball pitcher (class of 1985).
  • Stephen Buckley, managing editor, St. Petersburg Times (class of 1985)
  • B. Gerald Cantor (1916–1996), founder, Cantor Fitzgerald (class of 1934).
  • Richard Carmona (born 1949), former Surgeon General of the United States who dropped out of DeWitt Clinton at age 16 (class of 1967).
  • Al Casey (1915–2005), jazz guitarist (class of 1931).
  • Gilbert Cates (born 1934), producer, Academy Award telecasts (class of 1951).[39]
  • Paddy Chayefsky (1923–1981), screenwriter (class of 1939)
  • Richard Condon (1915–1996), author, The Manchurian Candidate, Prizzi's Honor (class of 1933).
  • Avery Corman (born 1935), author, Kramer vs. Kramer, Oh, God! (class of 1952).
  • Frank Corsaro (born 1924), stage and opera director (class of 1942).
  • Ellis Cousens, Executive VP and CFO, John Wiley & Sons(class of 1970)
  • Milton Cross, Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts announcer (class of 1915)
  • George Cukor (1899–1983), film director (class of 1917).
  • Countee Cullen, poet (class of 1922)
  • Lloyd Cutler, attorney, counsel to US presidents (class of 1932)
  • Leonard Davis, founder, Colonial Penn Insurance; co-founder, AARP (class of 1940)
  • Meyer Davis, society band leader (class of 1904)
  • Pedro de Cordoba, actor (class of 1900)
  • Charles DeLisi, scientist, "Father of the Human Genome Project" (class of 1959)
  • Peter De Rose, composer (class of 1917)
  • Clive Dixon, CWO, US Navy, member of the 2010 Blue Angels (class of 1987)
  • Dean Dixon, first African American conductor of the New York Philharmonic (class of 1932)
  • DJ Red Alert, impresario (class of 1974)
  • Herman Joseph Drucker, youngest eagle scout in greater NY council - 1936 (class of 1939)
  • George Duvivier, bass player (class of 1937)
  • Fred Ebb, lyricist (class of 1944)
  • Will Eisner, "Father of the modern graphic novel" (class of 1936)
  • Eliot Elisofon, photographer (class of 1929)
  • Eugene Emond, WWII B-17 Pilot and Officer of the New York Federal Reserve (class of 1928)
  • George Fellows, CEO, Callaway Golf (class of 1959)
  • Herbert Fields, playwright and screenwriter (class of 1916)
  • Joseph Fields, playwright and screenwriter (class of 1913)
  • Bill Finger, author, creator of many Batman characters (class of 1933)
  • David Finn, co-founder, Ruder-Finn (class of 1938)
  • Edward S. Feldman, film producer, Witness, The Truman Show (class of 1946)
  • Avery Fisher, electronics pioneer (class of 1924)
  • Bernie Fliegel, early professional basketball player (class of 1934)
  • Lewis Frankfort, CEO, Coach Bags (class of 1963)
  • Bruce Jay Friedman (born 1930), novelist, playwright and screenwriter.
  • Budd Friedman, IMPROV founder (class of 1951)
  • Hank Garrett, actor (class of 1950)
  • Frank D. Gilroy, Pulitzer Prize playwright (class of 1943)
  • Leon Ginzberg, co-founder, Crohn's disease (class of 1914)
  • Leo Gottlieb, New York Knicks basketball player
  • George Graff, songwriter, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" (class of 1903)
  • Bill Graham (1931–1991), rock promoter (class of 1949).
  • Luther Green, NBA Basketball Player
  • Adolph Green, lyricist, screenwriter (class of 1932)
  • George Gregory, Jr., first African American All-American college basketball player and New York City official (class of 1927)
  • George Gresham, president, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (class of 1973)
  • Ernest A. Gross (1906–1999), diplomat
  • Sam Gross, cartoonist, New Yorker Magazine (class of 1950)
  • Gary Gubner, shotputter and weighlifter, Olympic athlete and world record holder (class of 1960)
  • Sam Gutowitz, founder, Sam Goody Records (class of 1922)
  • Jerry Harkness, professional basketball player and civil rights activist (class of 1958)
  • Kenneth Harper, creator and executive producer of the musical play and film The Wiz (Class of 1957)
  • Irving Hasen, cartoonist, created Dondi (class of 1939)
  • Tom Henderson, NBA Basketball Player (class of 1970)
  • Michael Hafftka, artist (class of 1971)
  • Bernard Herrmann, composer (class of 1930)
  • Judd Hirsch, actor (class of 1952)
  • Robert Hofstadter, 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Irving Howe, author, essayist (class of 1936)
  • Leo Kadanoff, physicist, National Medal of Science (class of 1953)
  • Bob Kane, creator, Batman (class of 1933) [19]
  • Stubby Kaye, actor (class of 1936)
  • Kool Keith, Hip Hop MC, member of Ultramagnetic MCs and a solo artist
  • Theodore W. Kheel, former New York Labor mediator, civil rights activist, entrepreneur (class of 1931)
  • Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, USAF pilot killed during World War II, square named for him in Chinatown, NYC (class of 1937)
  • Robert Klein (born 1942), comedian, actor, author (class of 1958).[42]
  • George Kleinsinger, composer, Tubby the Tuba (class of 1930)
  • Stanley Kramer, film producer and director (class of 1930)
  • William Kunstler (1919–1995), attorney.[47]
  • Burt Lancaster (1913–1994), actor (class of 1930).[19][48]
  • Don Lane (1933–2009), entertainer, talk-show host, sportscaster. Once the highest paid person on Australian television. (class of 1952)
  • Joseph P. Lash, Pulitzer Prize author and historian (class of 1927)
  • Ralph Lauren (born 1939), designer (class of 1957) [19][42][49]
  • Butch Lee, NBA Basketball Player (class of 1974)
  • Howard V. Lee, Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient, Vietnam, Marine Corps Officer (Class of 1951)
  • Stan Lee, comic book publisher (class of 1939) [19]
  • Alfred Leslie, artist (class of 1945)
  • Seymour Leslie, founder, Pickwick International record company; president of MGM Home Video (class of 1940)
  • David L.Lewis,CEO, Mogul Protection Group,Inc, Author, Real Estate Developer(Class of 1992)
  • Edward Lewis, co-founder, ESSENCE magazine (class of 1958)
  • Joe E. Lewis, entertainer (class of 1919)
  • Robert Q. Lewis, actor, television host (class of 1938)
  • Eric Linden, actor (class of 1927)
  • Frank Loesser, composer and lyricist (class of 1926)
  • Eddie Lopat, New York Yankee pitcher (class of 1935)
  • Robert Lowery, first African American fire commissioner of the FDNY (class of 1934)
  • William Macaulay, CEO, First Reserve Investments (Class of 1962)
  • Walter Mack, Jr., head of Pepsi (class of 1913)
  • George Macy, publisher (class of 1917) [50]
  • Vito Marcantonio, US Congressman (class of 1921)
  • Garry Marshall, director, producer, actor (class of 1952)
  • August Martin, first African American commercial pilot (class of 1938)
  • Donald McKayle, stage and film choreographer (class of 1947)
  • Abel Meeropol, teacher at DWC; lyricist, “Strange Fruit,” “The House I Live In” (class of 1921)
  • Paul Milstein, real estate developer, philanthropist (class of 1940)
  • Seymour Milstein, real estate developer, philanthropist (class of 1937)
  • Walter Mirisch, film producer (class of 1938)
  • Loften Mitchell, playwright, Bubblin' Brown Sugar (class of 1937)
  • Tracy Morgan, actor and comedian (class of 1987) [19]
  • Jerome Moross, film composer, The Big Country (class of 1928)
  • Howard Morris, actor (class of 1936)
  • Ralph Morse, photographer, developed the camera that went to the moon in 1969 (class of 1935)
  • Jerry Moss, co-founder, A & M Records (class of 1953)
  • Johnny Most, radio play-by-play announcer for the Boston Celtics basketball team (class of 1940)
  • Jan Murray, actor, television host (class of 1934)
  • Lou Myers, cartoonist, writer The New Yorker (class of 1933)
  • Frank H. Netter MD, anatomy artist (class of 1923)
  • Roy Neuberger, financier (class of 1921)
  • Barnett Newman, artist (class of 1923)
  • Herbie Nichols, pianist, songwriter, "Lady Sings the Blues" (class of 1937)
  • Charles Pabst, MD who coined the phrase athlete's foot (class of 1905)
  • Robert F. Panara, deaf professor who championed the education of the deaf, RIT (class of 1938)
  • Basil Paterson, labor lawyer, political leader in New York (class of 1942)
  • Jan Peerce, Metropolitan Opera tenor (class of 1922)
  • Abraham Polonsky (1910–1991), blacklisted screenwriter.[30]
  • Bud Powell, jazz pianist and composer (class of 1931)
  • Mel Powell, Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz composer (class of 1937)
  • Henry Pringle, Pulitzer Prize author and historian (class of 1915)
  • DeWitt Clinton Ramsey, admiral, US Navy (class of 1908)
  • John Randolph, actor (class of 1932)
  • Charles Rangel, US representative [51]
  • Chester Rapkin, urban planner, coined "SoHo" for an area of New York City (class of 1935)
  • Seymour Reit, co-creator, Casper, the Friendly Ghost (class of 1934)
  • Walter J. Riker, MD, physician for the NFL (class of 1934)
  • Irving Riese, co-founder of Riese Restaurants (class of 1936)
  • Sugar Ray Robinson, champion prizefighter (class of 1938)
  • Luis Robles Jr., Intelligent (class of 2005)
  • Richard Rodgers, Broadway composer (class of 1919) [19]
  • A.M. Rosenthal, New York Times journalist (class of 1938) [19]
  • Rev. Adaly Rosado, Jr., Ordained a Catholic Priest May 14, 2011 (class of 2002)[52]
  • Steven Roth, CEO, Vornado Realty (Class of 1958)
  • Bob Rothberg, songwriter and author (class of 1919)
  • William Ruder, co-founder, Ruder-Finn (class of 1938)
  • Jack Rudin, real estate developer, philanthropist (class of 1942)
  • Lewis Rudin, real estate developer, philanthropist (class of 1944)
  • Eyre "Bruiser" Saitch, basketball and tennis champion (NBA Hall of Fame as NY Ren) (class of 1924)
  • Juan R. Sanchez, judge, US District Court PA (class of 1974)
  • Ralph L. Scala, rock musician, founder of The Blues Magoos, 1962 & 1963 PSAL City Champions Golf (class of 1964)
  • Dolph Schayes, NBA Hall of Fame basketball player (class of 1945)
  • Daniel Schorr, journalist (class of 1933)
  • M. Lincoln Schuster, co-founder, Simon & Schuster publishers (class of 1913)
  • Barry Schwartz, co-founder, Calvin Klein (class of 1959)
  • Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch (class of 1934) [53]
  • Barney Sedran, basketball Hall of Famer (class of 1907)
  • Bobby Sharp, songwriter, "Unchain My Heart" (class of 1942)
  • Gerald Shur, founder of the Federal Witness Protection Program, and co-author of WITSEC--Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program (class of 1951)
  • Neil Simon, playwright and screenwriter (class of 1944)[30]
  • Aaron Siskind, abstract photographer (class of 1921)
  • Ricky Sobers, professional basketball player (class of 1971)
  • Sol Stein (born 1926), author[28]
  • Larry Storch, actor (class of 1941)
  • Charles Strouse, composer (class of 1944)
  • Bruce Taub, president, CBS Television Network (class of 1966) [54]
  • Howard Taubman (1907–1996), music and theater critic for The New York Times (class of 1925).[55]
  • Sammy Timberg, Musician and composer (class of 1919)
  • Laurence Tisch, head, Loew's Hotels, CBS (class of 1939)
  • Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht, radio personality (class of 1968)
  • Marvin Traub, former head of Bloomingdale's department store (class of 1942)
  • Lionel Trilling, educator and critic (class of 1921)
  • Jason Valentin, Baruch College baseball player (class of 2007) [56]
  • Miguel Vasquez, (born 1986) professional baseball player (class of 2005)
  • William J. Vazquez, Professional Tennis Coach (class of 1996)
  • Ozzie Virgil, Sr., major league baseball player (class of 1950)
  • Jeff Wald, film and television producer, publicist (class of 1960)
  • Ben Wattenberg, host, Think Tank on PBS; author (class of 1951)
  • Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States (class of 1954)
  • Grover Whalen, "Mr. New York," WNYC founder, President World's Fair Corporation (class of 1906) [27]
  • Woodie W. White, bishop of the United Methodist Church (class of 1953)
  • Willie Worsley, community leader and basketball player (class of 1965)
  • William Zeckendorf, real estate developer (class of 1921)

Although he did not graduate, guitarist Paul "Ace" Frehley of KISS also attended Clinton.[57]

Links and References