Historic, but not famous

Abraham Abraham, business man, department store founder

Abraham Abraham (March 9, 1843 – June 28, 1911) was an American businessman and the founder of the Brooklyn department store Abraham & Straus, founded 1865. The chain, which became part of Federated Department Stores, is now part of Macy’s.

At 14, he worked in his first department store,  Hart & Dettlebach of Newark, along with Simon Bloomingdale and Benjamin Altman for $1 a week. Abraham opened Wechsler & Abraham in Brooklyn in 1865 at 297 Fulton Street.  The company later became Abraham & Straus.

He became a Brooklyn philanthropist, establishing the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, among many other causes.

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Historic, but not famous

Arlington Leon Eastmond, CEO of the EASCO Boiler Corporation; the largest minority owned and operated steel boiler and tank manufacturer in the country, learned the boiler trade from his Bajan father, Arlington Leon Eastmond, Sr.

In turn, Leon passed on his passion for entrepreneurship and business acumen to his sons Frederick and Leon and his grandson Tyren, EASCO’s COO. Today, the family is collectively building on a nearly 100 year legacy of hard work and devotion to community. EASCO is in the heart of NYC’s most economically challenged borough, the Bronx, and employs over 100 people (98% are Black & Latino) in manufacturing positions, compensating staff at levels that are higher than the state and city minimums (including full healthcare benefits), providing re-entry opportunities and training for the formerly incarcerated and cultivating a crop of successful entrepreneurs.

To remain relevant, EASCO has evolved as its industry has moved away from heavy oils and into the natural gas arena. In 2013, EASCO completed an environmentally conscious project that is a model for the rehabilitation of heating and hot water systems in large residential and commercial complexes. The company is still family owned, 4th generation now, but it all started with Mr. Eastmond, Sr.

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Historic, but not famous

By Not stated - Thomas Maurice Mulry: https://archive.org/stream/thomasmauricemul00meehuoft#page/n5/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35953052Thomas M. Mulry was born in New York City and his early school-days were spent in St. Joseph’s parochial school and then at De La Salle Academy.  In 1874, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society, an international organization of Catholic laymen dedicated to helping the poor. A successful businessman and banker, he devoted extensive time and resources to charitable work.

On October 6, 1880 he was married to Mary E. Gallagher and they set up a home in Greenwich Village. Mulry became a director and for ten years president of the Emigrant Industrial Saving Bank, the largest institution of its type in the world. He was also a director of the Mutual License Insurance Company and served for many years on the General Committee of Tammany Hall.

His charitable activities led President Theodore Roosevelt to name him vice-chairman and presiding officer of the first White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children in 1909.

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Historic, but not famous

Elias Karmon, known as “Mr. Bronx” for his long dedication to the borough, was a businessman, civic leader, civil rights advocate and philanthropist, Karmon was one of the borough’s biggest boosters through its darkest days and its renaissance.

For 40 years he was the proprietor of Hollywood Clothes at Prospect Ave. and 163rd St., and then began buying buildings, getting involved in important civic causes, doing good deeds. Karmon belonged to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. He served as president of the original Bronx Chamber of Commerce for four years, and also held the positions of treasurer, second vice-president and first vice-president. He was named chairman emiretus of the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce which he almost, single-handedly, restarted in 2001.

Mr. Bronx helped rebuild the parts of the Bronx impacted by abandonment as one of the founders of Ponce de Leon Federal Bank, one of the few organizations that provided financial services to many residents there in the 1970s and 80s. He was also a board member of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the Bronx House, South Bronx Mental Health Council, the Bronx Dance Theater, Bronx Community College Foundation, Beth Abraham Hospital Foundation, Bronx Jewish Community Council, Bronx Special Olympics, Bronx Boys and Girls Club and Bronx Y.M.C.A. Karmon’s generous donation greatly aided the Bronx YMCA’s efforts to build its current modern facility and indoor pool on Castle Hill Avenue. The pool also carries Elias’ name.

He also served as president of the Pelham Parkway Jewish Center, and chairman and founding member of the borough’s branch of the Urban League. The borough colleges of CUNY also award an annual scholarship in his honor.

Mr. Karmon died at the age of 98 in 2008. The intersection of Thwaites Place and Barker Avenue, near where he lived in Pelham Parkway, is now known as “Elias Karmon Way”. There is also a housing complex in the Bronx named for him as well.

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