2016-04-06 / Editorials

Bright Lights Of Queens

Some very important people from Queens have passed during this first quarter of 2016 – namely, Justice Antonin Scalia, Nancy Reagan and Patty Duke. But this is not an obituary, it is more a celebration of our hometown people who have become important to the entire country, who have molded and shaped our culture and society, or just brightened our daily lives. Some were, and remain, our heroes, and we treasure their legacy.

Some major lights from Queens are still lit, some went out long ago. Some have launched from Queens, earning Grammys, Oscars, and Olympic medals – astronauts Dr. Ellen Baker and Charles Camarda shot into outer space, and Donald Trump is shooting for the White House, as did Geraldine Ferraro; Ray Romano rode the airwaves into all our living rooms. Queens gave birth to athletes John McEnroe, Jackie Robinson, Nancy Lieberman-Cline and Whitey Ford; entrepreneur Russell Simmons; musicians The Ramones (now the subject of an exhibition at Queens Museum) and Paul Simon (coming home to play Forest Hills Stadium in June); and was home to Louis Armstrong, Woodie Guthrie, Burt Bacharach, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Ethel Merman and Cyndi Lauper; directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola; actors Buster Keaton, Christopher Walken, Jerry Seinfeld, Judy Holliday, Jimmy Durante, Lucy Liu, Susan Sarandon, Rodney Dangerfield, Fran Drescher, Rosie Perez, Mae West, John Leguizamo, Thelma Ritter and Nancy Walker (all funny!); writers Jack Kerouac, Jimmy Breslin and Helen Keller; artist Robert Mapplethorpe – the list is endless and growing. You only need browse our pages every week to see all the current and up-and-coming Queens movers and shakers. Must be something inspiring in the water here. In any case, all the greats with Queens roots, we salute you!

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