Looking to id prominent people in NYC area (1930s/1940s)


A prominent Black judge and a prominent Black surgeon.

You can see them in this documentary at 14:47 and 15:02, respectively. I could identify all the others in this segment except the NYC principal. Not likely to id her, if you think you can, have at it.

The surgeon looks like Dr. Vivien Thomas and I think the judge is Judge James S. Watson.

Oh, and the principal is Gertrude Elise Ayer

(I have an HD copy of this film and her name was written on the plaque on her desk.)

Cool! Thanks!

Nitpick: Vivien Thomas was not a doctor and in the 1940s was doing research with Alfred Blalock on “blue baby syndrome”. Their work was pioneering and important, but Vivien Thomas was not recognized for it at the time. So I doubt he would have been shown in a film of prominent African-Americans.

Also, the narration identifies the man as a “leading New York City surgeon” and Blalock and Thomas were working in Baltimore.

The narration also mentions "Admiral Peary planting his flag at the North Pole.’ Only, he probably didn’t, and he wasn’t an admiral, so apparently it’s a mash-up name with Admiral Byrd. I doubt the writers thought anyone would be fact checking them seven decades later.

Even given that, Vivien Thomas was unknown at that time except to a very few people.

I’m just going by the picture. The man in this still from the film looks the same as this one. Same mustache and glasses, his nose looks the same.