Notable Alumni of the Hartford Public High School

Of the thousands of students who have graduated from the school since 1851, many have excelled in their professional careers, locally and nationally.

There were no diplomas until 1854, but the Catalogue of The Hartford Public High School (1941) gives the names of graduates from 1848 to 1853. These students probably received a certificate of completion of their course. Students who attended the Hartford Grammar School, i.e. prior to 1847, are mentioned by Henry Barnard in his written works and in The Hartford Grammar School ( cf. History Series XXIII).

In the field of education, many returned to teach at HPHS and city schools.  Others became teachers and college professors in Connecticut, other states, and foreign countries.

In the field of law, an impressive number became well-known attorneys and judges of the lower and superior courts in Connecticut and other states.

There have been numerous local and state politicians who graduated from HPHS:  state senators and representatives, city and town officials, and members of boards of education.

Many are the graduates who served in every war since the Civil War, matched by many others who have performed peaceful missionary work around the globe.

In medicine and science, many have left their mark.  Business and industrial leadership by HPHS graduates is significant in the first half of the Twentieth Century. These businessmen often were active in their communities and were trustees on college boards and other institutions.

Graduates who served in the Civil War are listed in Civil War Alumni (History SeriesVIII).  Graduates who excelled in athletics are enrolled in the HPHS Athletic Hall of Fame.

Information on graduates from the 1930’s forward is incomplete because their careers and successes were not listed in the 1955 Catalog, whereas this had been the case in the 1941 Catalog. The Tercentenary Celebration in 1938 involved an impressive amount of research, which produced the 1941 Catalog.  Credit must be given to the people who must have had some familiarity with Hartford notables either personally or due to their local fame.  Certainly, great devotees such as Clarence H. Wickham, renowned member of the Class of 1879, and Principals Clement C. Hyde and Thomas J. Quirk were involved in the research.

“Notable Alumni” is a work in progress , and information will be added from time to time.

1851                Dr. Edward Minor Gallaudett, Trinity ’56, President of  Gallaudett College, Washington, D.C., 1864-1911.

1860                William G. Sumner, Yale ’63, organized Department of Social Sciences at Yale, 1872-1910, influential professor and author.

1862                Edgar Thaddeus Welles, Yale ’64, Chief Clerk of U.S. Navy Department, director of several railroad companies, son of Gideon Welles.

1863                Sarah M. Glazier, Vassar ’68, first female HPHS graduate to attend college and also first to become a college professor (Buchtel, Vassar), member of first class to graduate from Vassar.

1864                Charles E. Gross, Yale ’69, director of many corporations in Hartford, President of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford.

1865                Bernadotte Perrin, Yale ’69, professor at Yale, 1893-1920, translated Plutarch’s Lives.

John M. Holcombe, Yale ’69, President of Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance.

Henry T. Terry, Yale, Professor of Law, Imperial University of Tokyo, 1876-1884, 1894-1912.

1867                Charles Hopkins Clark, Yale ’71, Editor of The Hartford Courant for 21 years.

1868                Edward C. Terry, Yale ’71, inventor, manufacturer in Hartford.

1870                Dr. William F. Henney, Yale ’74, Mayor of Hartford, 1904-1908.

1872                William Waldo Hyde, Yale ’76, Mayor of Hartford, 1892-1894.

1873                Henry Roberts, Yale ’77, Governor of Connecticut, 1905-1907.

William Gillette, actor, famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, built Gillette Castle, his home in East Haddam, CT.

1874                Admiral Harry S. Knapp, U.S. Naval Academy ’78, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Spanish American War, Commander of all U.S. Naval forces abroad, 1919.

1875                Frank E. Hyde, Yale ’79, CT State representative, U.S. Consul at Lyons, France, 1893-1897.

1876                Charles E. Chase, President of Hartford Fire Insurance.

1877                Arthur W. Cowles, President of Hartford Fire Insurance, Chief of U.S. Patent Office, Washington, D.C.

George P. McLean, CT state representative and senator, U.S. Senator, Governor of Connecticut, 1901-1903.

1878                George Dudley Seymour, George Washington ’80, author of works on American History and Architecture. Restored the Nathan Hale Homestead.

Tun Yen Liang, Yale ’82, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China.

Archibald A. Welch, Yale ’82, Lecturer at Yale, President of Phoenix Mutual Life Ins. Co.

1879                Kai Kah Wong, Yale ’83, held government positions in Republic of China.

Albert Carr, Yale, ’83, prominent engineer in public transportation, first subway system of New York City, hydroelectric development in Mexico, rebuilding of the street  railway system in San Francisco following the April, 1906 earthquake.

Shon Kie Tsai, established Tientsin University, China.

George E. Bowman, Yale ’83, author of works on American Colonial History, compiled extensive Mayflower genealogy.

Louis R. Cheney, CT state representative, Mayor of Hartford, 1912-1914.

Mun Yew Chung, Yale ’83, Secretary and Charge d”Affairs of the Chinese Legation, Washington, D.C. and Madrid.

1880                Charles McLean Andrews, Trinity ’84, author of works on American Colonial History, received  Pulitzer Prize, 1935.

Caroline F. Hamilton, Smith, ’85, New York Women’s Medical College, ’88, medical missionary in Turkey for 37 years.

1881               Rev. Frank R. Shipman, Yale ’85, President of Atlanta Theological Seminary.

Dr. Thompson C. Elliott, Amherst ’85, author of works on Northwestern history, Fellow of Royal Historical Society of London.

Gertrude O. Lewis, Founder of the Connecticut Humane Society.

1882                Arthur L. Shipman, Yale ’86, author of works on early Connecticut History.

Henry C. White.  He began his painting career by taking private lessons with  landscape artist Dwight Tryon of Glastonbury, CT and wrote Tryon’s biography.

White taught drawing  at HPHS, associated with the Old Lyme artists, but spent most of  his time in Waterford. His favorite subjects were Connecticut landscapes and seascapes, and his career extended over sixty years.

1883                William Lyon Phelps, Yale ’87, Professor of English at Yale for 41 years.

Arthur Perkins, Yale, ’87, Associate Judge, Hartford.  Spearheaded the effort to make Benton Mackay’s vision of the Appalachian Trail a reality. Organized volunteers to carve out miles of trails and donated his own money to the project. Responsible for the
original metal AT symbol which remains the official design.

1884                Rev. Clarence A. Barbour, Brown ’88, President of Brown University.

Gertrude H. Rogers, Head of Rogers Paper Mfg. Co., Manchester, CT, 1912-1928.

1885                Frederick Fitzgerald, U.S. Consul, Cognac, France.

Robert W. Huntington, Yale ’89, President of Connecticut General Insurance Co.

Ethelbert A. Moore, President of Stanley Works, New Britain, CT.

Joseph R. Ensign, Yale ’89, President of Ensign-Bickford Company.

Charles W. Stiles, Leipzig ’90, U.S. Medical Director of Public Health Service, author of works on tropical diseases.

Ruel C. Tuttle, Trinity ‘89, notable artist.

Edward W. Hooker, Mayor of Hartford, 1908-1910.

1886                Horace H. Ensworth, M.I.T. ’91, industrialist.

Amasa Day Chafee, Yale ’90, Pictorialist art photographer.

1887                William R. Corson, Yale ’91, President, Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance Company.

Robert C. Glazier, President, Society for Savings.

1888                Eliza L. McCook, teacher and missionary in China for 35 years.

Howell Cheney, Yale ’92, silk manufacturer, Manchester,    CT.

Knight D.Cheney, Jr., Yale ’92, silk manufacturer, Manchester, CT.

L.P. Waldo Marvin, Yale ’92, Judge of Connecticut Supreme Court.

1889                Louis F. Butler, President, Travelers Insurance.

Fred F. Bennett, Yale ’96, U.S. Commissioner of the Federal Courts, 1924-1940.

Francis Parsons, Yale ’93, author of works on early Hartford history.

1891                Gen. Sherwood A. Cheney, U.S. Military Academy ’97, Military Aide to President Calvin Coolidge, Military Attaché at Peking.

Philip J. McCook, Trinity, ’95, Judge of the New York Supreme Court, 1919.

Dr. Jonathan M. Wainwright, Trinity ’95, President of American Society for Control of Cancer.

1892                Dr. Matilda S. Calder, Mt. Holyoke ’96, President of Ginling College, China.

Samuel Ferguson, Trinity ’96, President of Hartford Electric Light Co.

Henry A. Perkins, Yale ’96, professor at Trinity College, President, American School for the Deaf, Hartford, 1913, Acting President of Trinity College, 1915 and 1919.

Charles W. Gross, Harvard ’98, President, Board of Trustees, Hartford Seminary Foundation.

Rev. Edward T. Ware, Yale ’97, President, Atlanta University.

Edward L. Smith, Yale ’97, Mayor of Hartford, 1910-1912.

1893                Francis P. Garvan, Yale ’97, Dean of Fordham Law School, New York City.

1894                Rev. Maurice F. McAuliffe, Mt. St. Mary’s ’08, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hartford, 1934-

Sister Mary Consuela Mulcahy, a founder of St. Joseph College, West Hartford.

Elizabeth C. Wright, Wesleyan, ’97. Teacher, HPHS, from 1900 to 1913. Founder of Thames College, later Connecticut College for Women (1911).

1895                L. Edmund Zacher, President, Travelers Insurance.

Allison V. Pattison, first female HPHS graduate in CT State Legislature, 1925-1929.

Morrison Brown Yung,Yale Sheffield Scientific School, ’98.  Chief Engineer for reconstruction of city of Hankow, Republic of China, 1912-1914, Head of Coal Bureau, Canton, China, under Sun Yat Sen, 1920-1922.

1896                Morgan B. Brainard, Yale ’00, President, Aetna Life Insurance.

1897                William M. Maltbie, Yale ’01, Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court.

James L. Goodwin, Yale ’02, industrialist.

1898                Newton C. Brainard, Yale ’02, Mayor of Hartford, 1920-1922, President of Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Printers.

Edwin C. Dickinson, Yale ’02, Justice of Connecticut Supreme Court, 1941-

W.Brian Hooker, Yale ’02, author, instructor at Yale, dramatist, translated Cyrano de Bergerac.

1899                Russell Cheney, Yale ’04, was born in 1881 into the large family of silk manufacturers in South Manchester, Connecticut.  Like many in his family, Cheney graduated from Yale and was admitted to the Skull and Bones society.  He studied at the Art Students League  until 1907 and under Jean Paul Laurens (1838-1921) at the Académie Julian in Paris. Cheney exhibited in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Maine, and seven times at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.  He was a prolific artist in the post-impressionist style and achieved international fame for the beauty of his landscapes.

Edward H. Lorenz, Trinity ’02, notable inventor.

Elisha E. Hilliard, textile manufacturer.

1900                Annie Fisher, Wesleyan ’04, notable educator in Hartford.  The elementary school was named after her.

1901                Dr. Maude Taylor Griswold, Tufts ’05, notable in field of medicine.

1902                Philip E. Curtiss, Trinity ’06, novelist.

Joseph H. Lawler, Georgetown ’06, Mayor of Hartford, 1914-1916.

1903                Dr. Donald B. Welles, Yale ’07, noted for success in treatment of burns.

1905                Montague Flagg, M.I.T. ’09, artist and architect.

Thomas J. Molloy, Yale ’08, Justice of Connecticut Supreme Court.

1906                Donald B. Prentice, Yale ’10, President, Rose Polytechnic Institute.

Thomas Hewes, Yale ’10, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Washington, D.C.

Arthur S. Hildebrand, Yale ’10, author of works on geology, lost at sea while attempting to sail the Viking trail from Norway.

Laura Wheeler Waring, educator and painter known for her portraits of prominent African Americans of her era.

Edward Constant Roberts, Yale, ’10, Insurance Career, an accomplished musician who played with the Hartford Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hartford String Orchestra.  He was a founder of the Goodspeed Opera House, was active in the Mark Twain Masquers, and established the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation with his wife in 1964.

1907                Harold C. Jaquith, Trinity ’12, President, Illinois College.

Walter E. Batterson, Mayor of Hartford, 1928-1931.

Malcolm Davis, Yale ’11, Director, Geneva Research Center, 1925-1927.

1908                Chun Wing Sen Afong, Yale ’12, Commissioner of the Chinese Navy.

1910                Edward J. Daly, Cornell ’14, Attorney General of the State of Connecticut, 1934-1937.

1911                Nicholas F. Rago, Yale ’15, Deputy Attorney General of the State of Connecticut, 1939.

John E. Griffith, Trinity ’17, Vice President, Aetna Life Insurance.

1912                Samuel Berkman, Trinity ’16, Director, Hartt School of Music.

1913                Clinton L. Allen, President, Aetna Fire Insurance.

Ethel Donaghue, Vassar ’17, first female HPHS graduate to receive LL.B degree (University of Pennsylvania, 1920).

1914                Frazer B. Wilde, President, Connecticut General Insurance.

1915                Admiral W. Irving Leahy, U.S.Naval Academy ’19, Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Ann Thorsen Roberts, active in the Mark Twain Masquers for many years, and along with husband Edward, established the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation in 1964.  The Foundation has supported the arts for many years.

1916                Herbert Stoeckel, historian, reporter.

1917                Barnard Flaxman, Syracuse ’22, Vice President, Hartford Insurance Group.

1918                Sister Mary Joseph Mark McGurkin, a founder of St.Joseph College, West Hartford.

1919                Edward A. Suisman, Yale ’25, industrialist in Hartford.

Samuel C. Suisman, industrialist in Hartford.

1920                S. Richard Rapport, Middlebury, ’25, Vice-President, Hartford National Bank.

1921A             Howard L. Warring, Howard ’25, first African American HPHS graduate to earn the M.D., practiced in Hartford for 47 years.

1921B             Philip Kappel, Pratt Institute ’24, well-known artist.

1922B            John M. Bailey, The Catholic University of America, ’26, influential State Democratic Party Chairman.

William H. Mortensen, Mayor of Hartford, 1943-1945, Director of the Horace Bushnell Memorial.

Lewis Fox, Princeton ’26, prominent member of Hartford Board of Education. The middle school was named after him.

Nelson R. Burr, Princeton ’27, author of works on local history.

1924B             Raymond Kennedy, Yale ’28, well-known, progressive professor of Sociology at Yale.

1928               Donald Root, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  The leading architect for Lienhard Architects for the building of the Hartford Public High School on Forest Street, 1963.

1930B            Lemuel C. Custis, Howard,’38, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, W.W. II.

1932B             Barnaby C. Keeney, Univ. of N. Carolina ’36, President, Brown University.

1933A             Gwendolyn B. Clarke, aka Gwen Reed. Actress, storyteller and teacher. In 1937, she had a small role in Trilogy in Black, a production of the Connecticut Federal Theatre Project’s Negro Unit. Later she was in productions of The Emperor Jones, The World We Live In, Mississippi Rainbow, and One Third of a Nation.  She performed in or directed over 25 theatrical productions in the Greater Hartford area. She often appeared on the “Ranger Station,” a children’s program on Channel 3, and started the Playtime for Tots program for pre-school children in Bellevue Square, Hartford. From 1946 to 1964 she toured the country portraying “Aunt Jemima” for the Quaker Oats Company.

1934B             Arline Boucher Tehan, St. Joseph College, prolific writer who together with her husband John Tehan wrote The Prince of Democracy, a biography of James Cardinal Gibbons, a Catholic prelate who championed workers’ rights. She free-lanced for Smithsonian, Life, Reader’s Digest, and several newspapers.  Her book Henry Adams in Love was published in 1983 and wrote The Gates of Hell: Rodin’s Passion in Stone, which took years of research, and was completed when she was 94.

1936B             Elsie Kornbrath, aka, Elyse Knox Harmon. Performed in over forty Hollywood films from 1937 to 1999, with her first leading role in The Mummy’s Tomb with Lon Chaney, Jr.  She appeared in morale-booster films made during WWII, and portrayed Anne Howe, the girlfriend of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in the Joe Palooka series.

1937                Robert Killian, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Connecticut.

1939                Mary C.Fitzgerald Aspell, St. Joseph College ’43, first female HPHS Graduate on CT Superior Court.

William E. Budds, Fordham ’43, President, Charter Oak Bank.

Herbert E. Abrams.  Norwich Art School, Pratt Institute.  Internationally famous painter whose portraits of Connecticut governors Meskill, Grasso, and Weicker  are on display in the CT State Museum in Hartford. General Westmoreland, Presidents                Jimmy Carter and George Bush, Barbara Bush, Arthur Miller, members of Congress and heads of corporations are among the subjects Abrams is known for.  He re-designed the U.S. Air Force insignia, now one of the best known designs in the world.

1942                Charles S. Stone III, White House Correspondent, Editor of Washington African  American, writer.

1946                George A. Athanson, Amherst, B.A, Univ. of CT, M.A. International Relations, Univ. of Chicago Law School, J.D, Mayor of Hartford, 1971-1981.

1949                Lindy J. Remigino, Manhattan ’53, winner of two gold medals in track, 1952 Olympics, teacher, HPHS.

Carrie Saxon Perry, Mayor of Hartford, 1989-1994.

1950                Carmen R. Arace, University of Connecticut, prominent educator in town of Bloomfield, middle school named after him in 1987.


1951                Emilio Radocchia, aka Emil Richards, a Julius Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. He joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra while in tenth grade, working under Arthur Fiedler and Fritz Mahler. In 1959 he moved to Los                           Angeles where he recorded for Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, and Doris Day. In 1962, in response to a request from President John F. Kennedy, Emil and a small jazz combo joined Frank Sinatra on a tour around the world for the benefit of underprivileged children. He has recorded on over 1350 film scores.

1952                Marcia J. Fahey, B.A., Connecticut Central State University, CT State Senate, 1978-1983:  Chairperson, Appropriations Committee, Chairperson, Legislative Internship Committee, first Chairperson of East Hartford Human Rights Commission.

1957                Mihai Dimancescu received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his medical degree from the University of Toulouse, in France.  He completed a year of Surgical Residency at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and a Neurosurgical Residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Hospital in New York as well as at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He has published multiple articles in the field of neurosurgery.

Robert J. Giard, Jr., Yale ’61, professional photographer and teacher of photography.

Richard Don Tulisano,   University of Connecticut, University of CT School of Law, CT state representative for Rocky Hill, chairperson of the judiciary committee, a zealous guardian of individual rights.

1958              Les Payne, Univ. of CT, ’64, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, New York, Editor of Newsday magazine, a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.

1959                Col. Ronald A. Copes, Lincoln University, B.S., Atlanta University, M.B.A., served in the U.S. Army for twenty-seven years, receiving the Silver Star Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Bronze Star and other military honors. While pursuing his career at Mass Mutual in Springfield, MA, he did a great amount ofvolunteer work and fund-raising in the Springfield area.

1960                William M. Brown, aka Lew Brown, broadcast journalist in radio and television in Hartford.He created the Sunday morning“What’s on Your Mind” program which highlighted African American issues for twenty years. Active in many civic affairs  and           committed to the Hartford community.

Peter Dan Dimancescu, Dartmouth College, Fletcher School of Law, Harvard Business  School.  Has organized expeditions for National Geographic and written five books on  technology policy and management practices.  Dan has taught at Dartmouth College,               Boston College, and at the Institute of Technology & Management in Nantes, France. He has been an Honorary Consul of Romania in Boston and has been a member of various boards involved in supporting nature conservation and traditional culture.

Maurice A. Finocchiaro, MIT and UC Berkeley. Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus,  at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  He has published eleven books and hundreds of articles and book reviews on logic and argumentation theory, the history and philosophy of  natural science, and the history and philosophy of the social sciences. A recurring theme in his research and publications is the relationship between science and religion.Two of his well-known books are The Essential Galileo (2008), and Defending Copernicus and Galileo ( 2010).

James A. Ratches, Trinity, ’64, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, PhD., ’69, Chief Scientist Night Vision Optics U.S. Army.

1961                Donald C. Johanson, Univ. of Illinois ’66, anthropologist, author, discoverer of  “Lucy,” Director, Institute of Human Origins, Tempe, AZ.

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, Central Connecticut State University ’65, writer with a critically acclaimed body of work. One best-seller is Girls of Tender Age.

1962                Herbert Vilakazi, Columbia University, ’66, college professor, South African diplomat, ambassador to Uganda, 2002.

1967                Chet Kempczynski attended the Paier School of Art from 1967 to 1970 and has produced a large volume of work ranging from small portraits to large oils.  A master of a wide variety of techniques, Chet is  nationally known for his recurring theme of color and light in his seascapes and city panoramas. He has shown widely in New England, New York, France, and Spain.  He lives in Hartford.

1969                Franklin Chang-Diaz, University of Connecticut ’73, astronaut, 1981-2005, President, Ad Astra Advanced Space Propulsion Lab., Webster, Texas.

Denise L. Nappier, Virginia State University ’73, Treasurer of the State   of  Connecticut, 1999-

1972                Tony Todd (Anthony T. Todd), African American actor and producer,  appeared in more than 100 screen and television films.

1973                Dana Backman, professor of astronomy, known for his skills in infrared astronomy and discoveries in the formation of planetary systems.

1976                Eddie A. Perez, Trinity ’96, Mayor of Hartford, 2001-2010.

Julie Spector, Bowdoin College, Seattle University, ’83.  Appointed to the Superior Court in the state of Washington, 1999.

1979                Maria Perez-Brown, Yale ’83, creator and executive producer of television series programs for adultsand children.


R.J. Luke Williams

2007, updated 2016.