Notable Erasmians

Our high school has long been known as a training ground for some of the most accomplished Americans. Most alumni are aware that Barbra Streisand (1959) and Bobby Fischer (1960) were Erasmians. But there are many others, including some of our classmates, who are notable.

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First, our 1960 classmates... 

  • Artie Butler - composer, arranger, producer, many Emmy and Grammy nominations.
  • Jim Cymbala - Pastor for 25 years at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Internationally recognized as a leader in his religious movement and a renowned writer.
  • Bobby Fischer - dropped out in 1960; world chess champion.
  • Robert S. Gelbard - U.S. ambassador to Indonesia.
  • Gilbert Price - Star of many Broadway shows and twice nominated for Tony Awards.
  • Don K. Reed - Noted DJ; hosted the Doo-Wop Show
  • Martin Robinson - Early gay rights leader
  • Gregory Rozakis - actor, playwright

and from other classes...

  • Dr. Herbert Aptheker, 1933; Writer, and one of the foremost historians of the 20th century.
  • Robert (Bob) Arum, 1949; Boxing Promoter.
  • Pat Ast, 1959; Broadway actress.
  • Joseph R. Barbera, 1928; Artist; Cartoonist; Creator of "Tom & Jerry" cartoons.
  • Jeff Barry (Joel Adelberg), 1955; Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.
  • Myron Beldock, 1946; Noted Attorney and a "Foe of Injustice and Champion of Lost Causes", quoted from the NY Times 9/21/04.
  • Mark Bell, 1971; Professionally known as Marky Bell of the "Ramones"
  • Shirley Booth (Thelma Booth Ford), 1916; Actress, Film and noteable role on the radio show, "Duffy's Tavern".
  • Shepard Broad, 1923; Lawyer, Banker, Philanthropist, Credited by David Ben Gurion with being one of 18 American Jewish leaders as the person most responsible for the establishment of the State of Israel.
  • Chester Burger, 1938; Broadcaster, Author, Advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs and recipient of many distinguished awards.
  • Orville Richard Burrell, 1987; Otherwise known as "Shaggy" the Grammy winning and multi-platinum reggae artist.
  • Hon. Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, 1946; US District Judge Southern District of NY
  • Jeff Chandler (Ira Grossel), 1935; Actor
  • Betty Comden, 1933; Actress; Playwrite; Broadway musical songwriting team of Comden & Greene.
  • Janelle Commissiong, 1970; Miss Universe, 1977.
  • Sam Coslow, 1920; Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
  • William "Billy" Cunningham, 1961; Player and coach, Philadelphia '76ers basketball team.
  • Jon Cypher, 1949; Actor- Chief of Police Daniel on Hill Street Blues.
  • Gregory d'Alessio, 1922; Artist and illustrator.
  • Al Davis, 1947; Owner of Oakland Raiders football team & PSAL Hall of Fame.
  • Clive Davis, 1949; Founder of Arista Records.
  • Neil Diamond, attended Erasmus in the late '50s, but transferred before graduating.
  • Will Downing, 1981; Singer/Songwriter.
  • Miriam Dressler Griffin, 1952; Professor, Don at Oxford, author.
  • Byron Dyce, 1965; All-American Track star NYU, and Olympic Track.
  • Theodore Elsberg, 1950; Educator; President, Council of Supervisors and Administrators of the public schools of NYC.
  • Walter Farley, Year ??; Continued HS education at Mercerberg Academy in Pennsylvania. Published first book as an undergraduate at Columbia at age 18. Authored "The Black Stallion" books.
  • James Florio, 1964; Past Governor of New Jersey.
  • John Forsythe; Class year ?, Actor.
  • Elaine M. Fried de Kooning, 1936; famed artist. Her portraits hang in the President Harry S. Truman Library and the President John F. Kennedy Library.
  • Arthur Frommer; 1947; Travel expert, Publisher of books, magazines website and guides on travel around the world.
  • Steven Gaines, 1964; Best selling author and columnist.
  • Dr. Robert Gale, MD, 1962; Expert on bone-marrow transplants; Advisor to Soviet Union on Chernobyl nuclear accident.
  • Elliot Golden, 1944; NY State Supreme Court Justice.
  • Earl G. Graves, 1952; Publisher, Black Enterprise magazine.
  • Amy Gross, 1959; Noted author and magazine editor.
  • Marvin Harris, 1944; Noted and controversial acclaimed Anthropologist.
  • Susan Hayward, (nee Ellen Marrenner); Attended Erasmus in the mid 30's. She was a Hollywood actress and starred in many films.
  • Tony (Anthony) Hoffman, 1959; Author, TV personality, and awarded the first "Legends" award by the Electronic Retailing Association for his contribution to the industry.
  • John Hopkins, 1951; General, USMC, 3 tours in Viet Nam and the Gulf War.
  • Waite Hoyt, 1916; Baseball Hall of Fame & PSAL Hall of Fame.
  • Hurwitz, Moses, 1915; "Moe Howard" of the "Three Stooges"
  • Marty Ingels, 1956; Comedian.
  • Dr. Eric Kandel, 1948; Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2000.
  • Gabe Kaplan, actor, did not graduate.
  • Don Kretmar, 1959; World class saxophonist and bass guitarist who played with the bands Teenage Lust, JRZ, and The Blues Project. His recordings are available on Amazon.
  • John J. Lee, 1954; Basketball star at Erasmus, Yale and the NY Knicks. Entrepreneur and benefactor.
  • Lainie (Levine) Kazan; 1956; Film and TV actress and singer.
  • Dorothy Kilgallen, 1932; Journalist and TV celebrity.
  • Major General (Dr.) Stanley C. Kolodny; 1940; Assistant Attorney General for Dental Services, HQ U.S.Air Force. Ret. 1982.
  • Bernard Koppel, 1953; Actor; Doctor on TV series The Love Boat.
  • Albert A. Kruger, 1970; Noted scientist and inventor.
  • Rabbi Harold Kushner, 1951; Noted Author.
  • Michele LaBombarda, 1952; TV and Film actor. Stage name was Michael Lombard, seen on Law & Order Criminal Intent, Kojak, Barney Miller and others.
  • Dennis Lambert, 1964; Songwriter, record producer.
  • Shawn Lee, 1984; Football Pro. Tampa Bay '88-'89, Miami Dolphins '90-'91, San Diego Chargers '92-'97.
  • Samuel Lefrak, 1936; Real estate developer.
  • Phyllis Lorberblatt Kahn; 1953; Minnesota House of Representatives, 15th term.
  • Sid Luckman, 1935; National football champion with the Chicago Bears. PSAL Hall of Fame
  • Aline MacMahon, 1916; Actress. Notable performance in Moss Hart's Act 1.
  • Dr. Barbara McClintock; 1919; Nobel Prize winner, plant biology, 1986.
  • Donald McMahon, 1948; Major league baseball pitcher
  • Denise Majette, 1972; Elected to Congress from Georgia, November 2002.
  • Bernard Malamud, 1932; Author and educator; Pulitzer Prize for The Fixer, 1967, Magic Barrel, 1958.
  • Kedar William Massenburg, 1981; CEO/President of Motown Records.
  • Irwin Meyer, 1953; Producer, Tony Award winner.
  • Stephanie Mills, 1977; Actress; Singer; starred on Broadway in the revival of the show The Wiz.
  • Doug Moe, 1956; Coach Denver Nuggets basketball team.
  • Donald Most, 1970; Actor, TV series, Happy Days.
  • Matthew Nimetz, 1956; Served as Under-Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology (to 1980).
  • Joe Pollack, 1947; Lengthy career as a professional Journalist, writer and radio celebrity.
  • Richard Portnow , 1963; Film & TV Actor, featured in Tin Men, Kindergarten Cop, Heart & Souls, Good Morning Vietnam, Sister Act, Perry Mason, NYPD Blue, Spin City, The Commish, Hal "Mel" Melvoin on the Emmy-winning HBO series The Sopranos, Walker Texas Ranger and the Wheelchair Salesman on Seinfeld.
  • Michael Rapaport, attended Erasmus in the '80s but graduated at Martin Luther HS in NY. Noted TV actor and was with Lili Taylor 1996 - 1997.
  • Marilyn Raphael, 1950 January; Actress; First recipient if the School's "Dramatic Medal", stage, TV and film actress.
  • Jerry Reinsdorf, 1953; Owner of the Chicago Bulls, and Chicago White Sox teams.
  • Lewis Rowland, MD, 1942; World expert on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
  • Steven Ross, 1945; Chairman of the Board, Warner Communications.
  • Gene Rossides, 1945; Founder and General Counsel for the American Hellenic Institute, Former Ass't Secretary of Treasury, 1949-NY Giants, Columbia '49 star quarterback and PSAL Hall of Fame.
  • Sam Rutigliano, 1950; Coach, Clevelaand Browns football team.
  • Arthur M. Sackler, MD 1931; Art Historian and collector; Collection of African and AncientArt is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Sackler Wing of the Smithsonian Museum.
  • Dorothy Sarnoff, 1927; Opera singer, actress.
  • Lewis Schaffel, 1961; Exec VP, and COO of the New Jersey Nets basketball team.
  • Sheldon J. Segal, January 1942; Distinguished Scientist, Author, Humanitarian and the listing of his awards, International and public service, and honorary degrees and titles are endless.
  • Beverly Sills, (Belle Miriam Silverman) Opera Singer, attended Erasmus in the mid '40s and transferred before graduating.
  • Robert Silverberg, 1952; Prolific novelist and the winner of many Nebula and Hugo Awards for his work.
  • Morrison "Mickey" Spillane, 1936; Author of Detective and mystery fiction.
  • Bernadette Stanis, 1972; Actress. Starred in the '70s hit "Good Times".
  • Barbara Stanwyck, ?? ; Actress.
  • Sonia Wildorf Stoloff, 1961; Assistant Attorney General and State Court Magistrate.
  • Barbra Streisand, 1959; Actress and singer.
  • Paul Sylbert, 1946; Film and theater production and set design.
  • Richard Sylbert, 1946; Film and theater production and set design. Oscar winner.
  • Norma Talmadge, Year ??, Silent Screen star.
  • George Thompson, 1965; Pro Basketball star with the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Preston Robert Tisch, 1944; US Postmaster General, Financier, NY Giants football team.
  • Cheryl Toussaint, 1970; Athlete; Olympic gold medalist, 1972.
  • Eli Wallach, 1932; Actor.
  • Eleanor Holm Whalen, 1932; Went on to become a world famous swimmer.
  • James D-Train Williams, 1980; Singer/Songwriter.

List compiled by Erasmus Hall HS Alumni Association