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New Haven is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. With a population of 135,081 as determined by the 2020 U.S. census,[2] New Haven is the third largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport and Stamford, the largest city in the South Central Connecticut Planning Region, and the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 864,835 in 2020. Prior to 1960, it was the county seat of New Haven County until the county governments were abolished that year.[3]

New Haven was one of the first planned cities in the U.S.[4][5][6] A year after its founding by English Puritans in 1638, eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating the "Nine Square Plan".[7] The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square at the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark, and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark.[8][9]

New Haven is the home of Yale University, New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer,[10] and an integral part of the city's economy. Health care, professional and financial services and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.

The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues.[11] New Haven had the first public tree planting program in the U.S., producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave the city the nickname "The Elm City".[12]


  • New Haven
    • Amity
    • Cedar Hill
    • City Point
    • Downtown
    • East Rock
    • Fair Haven
    • Fair Haven Heights
    • Long Wharf
    • Mill River
    • Quinnipiac Meadows
    • Westville
    • Wooster Square

Pre-colonial foundation as an independent colony

Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and sustained an economy of local fisheries and the farming of maize. The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in the area.

The 1638 nine-square plan, with the extant New Haven Green at its center, continues to define New Haven's downtown

In 1637, a small party of Puritans reconnoitered the New Haven harbor area and wintered over. In April 1638, the main party of five hundred Puritans, who had left the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of Reverend John Davenport and London merchant Theophilus Eaton, sailed into the harbor. It was their hope to set up a theological community with the government more closely linked to the church than that in Massachusetts, and to exploit the area's potential as a port. The Quinnipiacs, who were under attack by neighboring Pequots, sold their land to the settlers in return for a pledge of protection.[13]

By 1640, "Quinnipiac's" theocratic government and nine-square grid plan were in place, and the town was renamed Newhaven, with 'haven' meaning harbor or port. (However, the area to the north remained Quinnipiac until 1678, when it was renamed Hamden.) The settlement became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony, distinct from the Connecticut Colony previously established to the north centering on Hartford. Reflecting its theocratic roots, the New Haven Colony forbade the establishment of other churches, whereas the Connecticut Colony permitted them.

Economic disaster struck Newhaven in 1646, when the town sent its first fully loaded ship of local goods (the "Great Shippe") back to England. It never reached its destination, and its disappearance stymied New Haven's development versus the rising trade powers of Boston and New Amsterdam.
In 1660, Colony founder John Davenport's wishes were fulfilled, and Hopkins School was founded in New Haven with money from the estate of Edward Hopkins.

In 1661, the Regicides who had signed the death warrant of Charles I of England were pursued by Charles II. Two of them, Colonel Edward Whalley and Colonel William Goffe, fled to New Haven for refuge. Davenport arranged for them to hide in the West Rock hills northwest of the town. Later a third judge, John Dixwell, joined the others. None of the three were ever returned to England for trial; Dixwell died of old age in New Haven, the others likewise elsewhere in New England.

As part of the Connecticut Colony

New Haven as it appeared in a 1786 engraving

Second meeting house on the New Haven Green, as it stood from 1670 to 1757

In 1664 New Haven became part of the Connecticut Colony when the two colonies were merged under political pressure from England. Seeking to establish a new theocracy elsewhere, some members of the New Haven Colony went on to establish Newark, New Jersey.

New Haven was made co-capital of Connecticut in 1701, a status it retained until 1873.

In 1716, the Collegiate School relocated from Old Saybrook to New Haven, establishing it as a center of learning. In 1718, in response to a large donation from East India Company merchant Elihu Yale, former Governor of Madras, the Collegiate School was renamed Yale College.[14]

For over a century, New Haven citizens had fought in the colonial militia alongside regular British forces, including the French and Indian War. As the American Revolution approached, General David Wooster and other influential residents hoped that the conflict with the British parliament could be resolved short of rebellion. On 23 April 1775, Captain Benedict Arnold commanded the Second Company, Governor's Foot Guard, of New Haven to break into the powder house to arm themselves for a three-day march to Cambridge, Massachusetts, an event still celebrated in New Haven as Powder House Day. Other New Haven militia members were on hand to escort George Washington from his overnight stay in New Haven on his way to Cambridge. Contemporary reports, from both sides, remark on the New Haven volunteers' professional military bearing, including uniforms.

On July 5, 1779, 2,600 loyalists and British regulars under General William Tryon, governor of New York, landed in New Haven Harbor and raided the town of 3,500. A militia of Yale students had been preparing for battle, and former Yale president and Yale Divinity School professor Naphtali Daggett rode out to confront the Redcoats. Yale president Ezra Stiles recounted in his diary that while he moved furniture in anticipation of battle, he still couldn't quite believe the revolution had begun.[15] New Haven was not torched as the invaders did with Danbury in 1777, or Fairfield and Norwalk a week after the New Haven raid, preserving many of the town's colonial features.

Post-colonial period and industrialization

New Haven was incorporated as a city in 1784, and Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Constitution and author of the "Connecticut Compromise", became the new city's first mayor.

Timeline of notable firsts

See also: Yale – New Haven Hospital § Milestones in medicine

  • 1638: New Haven becomes the first planned city in America.
  • 1776: Yale student David Bushnell invents the first American submarine.
  • 1787: John Fitch builds the first steamboat.
  • 1836: Samuel Colt invents the automatic revolver in Whitney's factory.
  • 1839: Charles Goodyear of New Haven discovers the process of vulcanizing rubber in Woburn, Massachusetts, and later perfects it and patents the process in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.[37]
  • 1860: Philios P. Blake patents the first corkscrew.
  • 1877: New Haven hosts the first Bell PSTN (telephone) switch office.
  • 1878–1880: The District Telephone Company of New Haven creates the world's first telephone exchange and the first telephone directory and installs the first public phone. The company expanded and became the Connecticut Telephone Company, then the Southern New England Telephone Company (now part of AT&T).[38]
  • 1882: The Knights of Columbus are founded in New Haven. The city still serves as the world headquarters of the organization, which maintains a museum downtown.[39]
  • 1892: Local confectioner George C. Smith of the Bradley Smith Candy Co. invents the first lollipops.[40]
  • Late 19th century-early 20th century: The first public tree planting program takes place in New Haven, at the urging of native James Hillhouse.[41]
  • 1900: Louis Lassen, owner of Louis' Lunch, is credited with inventing the hamburger, as well as the steak sandwich.[42]
  • 1911: The Erector Set, the popular and culturally important construction toy, is invented in New Haven by A.C. Gilbert. It was manufactured by the A. C. Gilbert Company at Erector Square from 1913 until the company's bankruptcy in 1967.[43]
  • 1920: In competition with competing explanations, the Frisbee is said to have originated on the Yale campus, based on the tin pans of the Frisbie Pie Company which were tossed around by students on the New Haven Green.[44]
  • 1977: The first memorial to victims of the Holocaust on public land in America[45] stands in New Haven's Edgewood Park at the corner of Whalley and West Park avenues. It was built with funds collected from the community[46] and is maintained by Greater New Haven Holocaust Memory, Inc.[47] The ashes of victims killed and cremated at Auschwitz are buried under the memorial.[45]

List of people from New Haven, Connecticut

Academics and educators

  • Vincent Scully
  • Lawrence Summers
  • Michael L.J. Apuzzo, academic neurosurgeon, surgical pioneer, editor, and educator
  • Walter Darby Bannard, abstract painter and University of Miami professor
  • Ida Barney, astronomer
  • Harold Bloom, literature scholar and professor
  • Edward Bouchet, physicist and first Black man to receive a Ph.D.
  • Raymond C. Bowen, president of LaGuardia Community College
  • Thom Brooks, political and legal philosopher
  • Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, educator and author
  • Timothy Dwight IV, president of Yale College
  • Joseph S. Fruton, biochemist and historian of science
  • Josiah Willard Gibbs, mathematical physicist
  • Ruth Wilson Gilmore, prison abolitionist and professor at The City University of New York
  • William Henry Goodyear, archeologist, art historian and museum curator
  • Arthur Twining Hadley, economist and president of Yale University
  • Geoffrey Hartman, literature scholar and emeritus professor
  • Stephen Kobasa, teacher, writer and Christian political activist
  • William Chester Minor, lexicographer and key contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary
  • John Nicholas Newman, mathematician
  • James Pierpont, founder of Yale College
  • David Pingree, professor of mathematics and classics
  • Michael Resnik, philosopher of mathematics
  • Vincent Scully, author and architecture professor, University of Miami and Yale University
  • Lawrence Summers, economist and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Harvard University president
  • Peter Vallentyne, professor of philosophy
  • Everard Mott Williams, scientist and educator

Actors and theater figures

  • Paul Giamatti
  • Lauren Ambrose, actress
  • Tony Amendola, actor
  • Jack Arnold, film director
  • Jessica Blank, actor, playwright and novelist
  • Roberts Blossom, actor and poet
  • Ernest Borgnine, actor
  • Melanie Chartoff, actress
  • Martha Coolidge, film director
  • D.J. Cotrona, actor
  • Paul Fusco, puppeteer, actor and creator of ALF
  • Marcus Giamatti, actor
  • Paul Giamatti, actor
  • Norman Lear, television producer
  • Billy Lush, actor
  • Biff McGuire, actor
  • William Cameron Menzies, film production director and art director
  • Becki Newton, actress
  • Nolan North, voice actor
  • Ron Palillo, actor
  • George O. Petrie, actor
  • Thomas Sadoski, actor
  • Patricia Smith, actress
  • Jennifer von Mayrhauser, costume designer
  • Rafer Weigel, actor and sportscaster
  • Titus Welliver, actor
  • Madeline Zima, actress
  • D. J. Cotrona, actor

Artists and architects

  • Robert Moses
  • Peter Anton, artist and sculptor
  • Hezekiah Augur, sculptor and inventor
  • Henry Austin, architect
  • Paul Wayland Bartlett, sculptor
  • Al Capp, cartoonist[1]
  • August Geiger, architect
  • John Haberle, painter
  • Patrick Earl Hammie, painter
  • Nathaniel Jocelyn, painter
  • Damian Loeb, painter
  • Tala Madani, artist
  • Robert Moses, architect and urban planner
  • Samuel Peck, 19th-century photographer, businessperson
  • César Pelli, architect
  • Jesse Richards, artist and filmmaker
  • Rudi Stern, light artist
  • Sidney Mason Stone, architect
  • Ithiel Town, architect and civil engineer
  • Nicholas Watson, filmmaker and artist
  • Minna Weiss Zellner, artist and print maker[2]

Athletes and athletics personnel

  • Brad Ausmus
  • Craig Breslow
  • Josh Zeid
  • Michael Altieri, pro wrestler performing under the name Mikey Batts
  • Brad Ausmus (born 1969), American Major League Baseball catcher and manager
  • Frank Beisler, hockey player
  • Eric Boguniecki, hockey player
  • Albie Booth, football player
  • Craig Breslow, baseball pitcher and executive
  • Scott Burrell, basketball coach
  • Walter Camp, football inventor
  • Glenna Collett-Vare, golfer
  • Tommy Corcoran, baseball shortstop[3]
  • Chad Dawson, boxer
  • Harold Devine, boxer
  • George Dixon, football running back
  • Gardner Dow, football player
  • Justin Duberman, hockey right winger
  • Ed Ellis, football offensive tackle[4]
  • Adam Erne, hockey player
  • Ed Etzel, Olympic sports shooter gold medalist
  • Harrison Fitch, basketball player
  • Kevin Gilbride, football coach
  • Fred Goldsmith, baseball pitcher[5]
  • Jason Grabowski, baseball player[6]
  • Jim Greco, skateboarder[7]
  • Adam Greenberg, baseball outfielder[8]
  • Stu Griffing, rower
  • Anttaj Hawthorne, football defensive tackle[9]
  • Jennison Heaton, bobsled racer
  • Nate Hobgood-Chittick, football defensive tackle[10]
  • Richard Holliday, professional wrestler
  • Matt Hussey, hockey centre
  • Bill Hutchison, baseball pitcher[11]
  • Bob Kuziel, football offensive lineman[12]
  • Floyd Little, football running back[13]
  • Brian Looney, baseball pitcher[14]
  • Ted Lowry, boxer
  • Terrell Myers, basketball player
  • Mike Olt, baseball player[15]
  • Ed Rapuano, umpire
  • Anthony Sagnella, football defensive tackle[16]
  • Allen Stack, swimmer
  • Greg Stokes, basketball player
  • George Weiss, baseball executive
  • Sly Williams, basketball player
  • John Williamson, basketball player
  • Josh Zeid, American-Israeli baseball player[17]

Business figures

  • Eli Whitney
  • Ted Bates, advertising executive
  • Sarah Boone, inventor
  • Wesley A. Clark, computer scientist and consultant
  • Charles Goodyear, inventor and industrialist
  • James J. Greco, businessman, was born in town
  • Clifford Grodd (1924–2010), president and chief executive of Paul Stuart[18]
  • Paul MacCready, aeronautical engineer and inventor
  • Andrew Paulson, entrepreneur and media executive
  • Roberta Hoskie, real estate broker, writer, and media personality
  • Peter Schiff, investment broker, author, financial commentator and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Inc.
  • Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., businessman and CEO of General Motors
  • Lucius Seymour Storrs, railway official
  • Eli Whitney, inventor and manufacturer
  • Steve Wynn, casino developer


  • Charles C. Baldwin, Chief of Chaplains of the U.S. Air Force
  • Lyman Beecher, clergyman and abolitionist
  • Jonathan Edwards, pastor, theologian, missionary
  • William H. Ferris, author, minister and scholar
  • Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus
  • Lawyers and jurists[edit]
  • Roger Sherman Baldwin, lawyer, Amistad case
  • Ellen Bree Burns, judge
  • Lubbie Harper Jr., judge
  • Maeve Kennedy McKean, lawyer and health official
  • Constance Baker Motley, civil rights activist, judge, and politician
  • Neil Thomas Proto, lawyer, teacher, lecturer, and author
  • Martin Karl Reidinger, judge
  • Thomas Thacher, lawyer

Military figures

  • Timothy I. Ahern, major general
  • Benedict Arnold, general who defected to the British
  • William P. Cronan, naval officer and Naval Governor of Guam
  • Nathan Hale, soldier and spy
  • Henry Leavenworth, brigadier general
  • Alfred Judson Force Moody, brigadier general
  • Allen L. Seaman, naval officer
  • Shabsa Mashkautsan, Russian Jewish World War II soldier, Hero of the Soviet Union


  • Michael Bolton
  • Ben Allison, jazz double bass player
  • Sonny Berman, jazz trumpeter
  • Kath Bloom, singer-songwriter[19]
  • Michael Bolton, singer-songwriter
  • Andrew Calhoun, folk singer, songwriter
  • Karen (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (born 1946), singers and musicians
  • Loren Mazzacane Connors, musician and artist
  • Susan DiBona, composer
  • Dominic Frontiere, composer
  • Anthony Geraci, blues and jazz pianist[20]
  • Jay Greenberg, composer
  • Gerry Hemingway, jazz percussionist and composer
  • Charles Ives, composer
  • Michael Gregory Jackson, jazz guitarist
  • Jamey Jasta, singer and guitarist
  • Kris Jensen, singer and guitarist
  • Pete Jolly, jazz pianist and accordionist
  • Brooks Kerr, jazz pianist
  • Hilly Michaels, musician and drummer
  • Joe Morris, jazz guitarist
  • Buddy Morrow, trombonist and bandleader
  • Alfred Newman, Hollywood composer and conductor
  • Troy Oliver, musician, songwriter and producer
  • Liz Phair, singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • Stacy Phillips, bluegrass artist
  • Quincy Porter, composer and music teacher
  • Barney Rapp, bandleader and jazz musician
  • Kira Roessler, bassist of Black Flag
  • Emily Saliers, singer-songwriter and member of the Indigo Girls
  • Christian Sands, jazz pianist
  • Tony Scherr, bassist and guitarist musician, singer-songwriter and record producer
  • Artie Shaw, bandleader
  • Stezo, rapper
  • Donn Trenner, jazz pianist and arranger
  • Jessica Grace Wing, theatrical composer
  • Barry Wood, singer and television producer


  • George W. Bush
  • Katherine Clark, Democratic House Whip and U.S. Congresswoman
  • Howard S. Baldwin, Arizona State Senator and businessman
  • Roger Sherman Baldwin, lawyer in the Amistad case, U.S. Senator and 17th Governor of Connecticut
  • George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
  • Charles R. Chapman, mayor of Hartford, Connecticut and served in both houses of the Connecticut legislature[21]
  • William P. Cronan, naval officer and Naval Governor of Guam
  • John C. Daniels, mayor of New Haven
  • Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Congresswoman
  • John DeStefano Jr., mayor of New Haven
  • Biagio DiLieto, mayor of New Haven
  • Andy Dinniman, Pennsylvania State Senator
  • Jerome F. Donovan, U.S. Congressman for New York
  • Phineas C. Dummer, 6th mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Henry W. Edwards, 27th and 29th Governor of Connecticut
  • Foster Furcolo, U.S. Congressman and 60th Governor of Massachusetts
  • Peter Franchot, 33rd Comptroller of Maryland
  • Henry Baldwin Harrison, 52nd Governor of Connecticut
  • James Hillhouse, U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator for Connecticut
  • Thomas Hill Hubbard, U.S. Congressman for New York
  • Charles Roberts Ingersoll, U.S. Congressman and 47th Governor of Connecticut
  • Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll, U.S. Congressman and mayor of New Haven
  • Joan R. Kemler, first woman to serve as Connecticut State Treasurer
  • Eleazer Kimberly, in 1696 became Secretary of Connecticut Colony; "the first male born in New Haven"
  • Richard C. Lee, mayor of New Haven
  • Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and 2000 U.S. vice presidential candidate
  • William D. Lindsley, U.S. Congressman for Ohio
  • Frank Logue, mayor of New Haven
  • Henry Meigs, U.S. Congressman for New York
  • Bruce Morrison, U.S. Congressman for Connecticut
  • George Lloyd Murphy, U.S. Senator for California and president of the Screen Actors Guild
  • Mary Mushinsky, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Gamaliel Painter, Vermont state legislator
  • Henry E. Parker, Connecticut State Treasurer
  • James P. Pigott, U.S. Congressman for Connecticut
  • Adam Clayton Powell Jr., U.S. Congressman for New York City
  • Roger Sherman, first Mayor of New Haven, signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution
  • John Todd Trowbridge, member of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature and sea captain
  • Rick Tuttle, Los Angeles city controller
  • William H. Yale, 6th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota


  • Joseph Payne Brennan, poet and short story writer
  • Hermann Broch, novelist
  • Noah Charney, novelist and art historian
  • William Cronon, environmental historian
  • Dorothy Deming, nurse and author
  • John Falsey, television writer and producer
  • Jeannine Hall Gailey, poet
  • William Heffernan, novelist
  • Burton J. Hendrick, journalist and writer
  • Mary Austin Holley, 19th-century travel writer
  • George W. Hotchkiss, 19th-century journalist, editor, historian, and lumber dealer
  • Andrew Kopkind, journalist
  • Leigh Montville, sportswriter and author
  • Ruth Ozeki, novelist
  • Themo H. Peel, author and illustrator
  • Delia Lyman Porter, author
  • Mark de Solla Price, author, journalist and activist
  • Margaret Sidney, children's author
  • Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and author
  • Louisa Caroline Huggins Tuthill (1799–1879), children's book author
  • Russell Wangersky, journalist and short story writer
  • Leonard Weisgard, children's author and illustrator
  • Bernard Wolfe, science fiction writer


  • Matt Amodio, Jeopardy! champion
  • Michael Buckley, YouTube celebrity
  • Perry DeAngelis, co-founder and executive director of NESS, co-founder of podcast The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
  • Scott Fellows, television producer
  • Louis Harris, pollster
  • Bun Lai, sustainable sushi pioneer of Miya's
  • Mary Blair Moody, physician
  • Frank Pepe, pizza chef
  • Madeline Triffon, sommelier
  • See also
  • List of Yale University people
  • List of Hopkins School people
  • List of mayors of New Haven, Connecticut
  • List of people from Connecticut
  • Category:Lists of people by Connecticut municipalities