Digging up some clues on our mystery photo
Dec 29, 2015 | 12653 views | 0 0 comments | 542 542 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wow, we had an amazing response to this photo we dug up from our archives and ran in last week's paper. Several people emailed their thoughts on who they thought might be in the photo, including Joseph Brostek, who coincidentally joined Queens College in 1988 and managed commencements, groundbreaking, presidential events, and other public ceremonies until 2009.

Most respondents were able to quickly the man in the center as former Queens Borough President, who served from 1971-1986 and was forced to resign under a cloud of allegations that he was involved in a number of kickback schemes. Shortly thereafter, he committed suicide while on hold with his psychiatrist by stabbing himself in the chest with a kitchen knife.

The president of the Central Queens Historical Association, Jeff Gottlieb, identified the man second from the left as former city comptroller, who served in the office from 1974 to 1989. The former Bronx state senator also ran for mayor in 1989, but was defeated in the Democratic Primary by David Dinkins.

Several people also identified the woman on the far right as Carol Bellamy, including William Aiello of Howard Beach and Larry Penner from Great Neck.

Bellamy was the first woman to be elected president of the New York City Council, a position that no longer exists, but was once one of the most powerful posts in the city.

Prior to that, Bellamy served in the State Senate from 1973 to 1977. In 1985, she waged an unsuccessful campaign for mayor, and in 1983 she considered running for governor.

Following her career in politics, Bellamy would be appointed director of the Peace Corps by President Bill Clinton and later serve as executive director of UNICEF from 1995 to 2005.

Mr. Gottlieb also offered an educated guess that the man next to Bellamy is Saul B. Cohen, a former professor of geography at Hunter College who also served as Queens College president from 1975 to 1985, which would certainly coincide with the terms of the elected officials present in the photo.

Thanks to everyone who responded, and we'll be back to digging through the archives for more photos soon.
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