Kareem Abdul-Jabbar The basketball great recalled growing up in Inwood’s Dyckman Houses in a 2013 New York Magazine profile: “The northern side of Dyckman Street was Irish, and the southern side was Jewish. I would walk from where I lived in the Dyckman projects up to P.S. 52—my mom decided that I could walk to school alone, but I had to walk right through the Irish section of the neighborhood. Later on, as an adult, I found out that she used to follow me, from a half-block behind, to make sure that nothing happened.”
Lucille Ball At age fifteen America’s favorite redhead lived on Dyckman Street with friends of the family while studying at the John Murray Anderson-Robert Milton School of Theatre and Dance.
C.K.G. Billings This industrialist and noted horseman built his stables and later a grand castle-like estate, “Tryon Hall,” in what is now Fort Tryon Park.
Ruth Brall Sculptor best known for her busts of African American leaders. Her work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum and the National Academy. Lived at 45 Park Terrace West.
Max Brauer This German political exile lived at both 10 Park Terrace East and 687 West 204th Street during World War II. In 1946, after a decade on U.S. soil, Brauer returned to Germany where he was sworn in a Hamburg’s first post-war Mayor.
Elisha Brooks One of the Brooks Brothers of clothing fame. Had a home on Inwood Hill. An 1869 New York Herald description survives: “The house stands back from the river about 200 feet, and is a large stuccoed mansion, appearing like brown stone, in fine order, and worthy of occupancy by the first lord of the soil. Mr. Brooks’ place is one of the finest on the Hudson. The structure alone, without the elegant grounds, would be a fit abode for kings.”
Jim Carroll Author of the Basketball Diaries; the cult classic memoir later turned into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Lived at 585 Isham Street.
Edward Punnett Chrystie Artist, photographer and architect. Lived at 50 Park Terrace East. During his time in the neighborhood, he took countless photos of Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon and even a spectacular photo the Seaman-Drake arch which still stands today on 215th and Broadway.
Chris Claremont Comic writer once lived at 10 Park Terrace East. Claremont, who made a cameo in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, sometimes incorporated Inwood into his work. In a 1972 comic titled Night of the Dragon an epic showdown plays out in Inwood Hill Park where, “amidst the gentle trees overlooking the Hudson River, Iron Fist and the powerful Steel Serpent wage a savage fight for survival.”
Thomas Collentine North River Pier 92 hiring boss whose murder inspired “On the Waterfront.” Lived at 39 Post Avenue.
Arthur Daley Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times sportswriter. Lived at both 96 Park Terrace West and 260 Seaman Avenue.
Thomas Dwyer Purchased the old Seaman Mansion in 1906 and used the still surviving Broadway arch as office space for his architectural firm. Dwyer worked mainly on municipal projects, monuments and museums. His Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument on Riverside Drive remains part of Manhattan’s urban landscape.
Jesse Root Grant Son of U.S. President and Union General Ulysses S. Grant lived off Dyckman Street after marrying a local widow.
William Davis Hassler Turn of the century photographer lived at 150 Vermilyea Avenue #44.
Gustave Herz Early spark plug inventor. Lived on West 215th Street.
Sidney Hoff A popular cartoonist, Hoff’s children’s book, Danny the Dinosaur, sold more than ten million copies. Lived at 585 West 214th Street.
Bess Houdini The widow lived at 67 Payson Avenue after Harry’s death.
William H. Hurst President of the New York Stock Quotation Telegraph Company. Served as Grand Jury foreman in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire inquiry. His former home stands today on Park Terrace East and West 215th Street.
Samuel Isham This son of William Bradley Isham became an internationally known artist, though he is best known for his 1905 book titled “History of American Painting.”
Joseph Keppler Founder and illustrator of Puck Magazine. Lived atop Inwood Hill.
Walter Koenig Actor who played Ensign Pavel Chekov on Star Trek. Born in Chicago, Koenig’s parents, Lithuanian immigrants, moved the family to Inwood when Koenig was young. The future science and weapons officer attended P.S. 52, I.S. 98 as well as the Fieldston School in Riverdale before joining the crew of the Enterprise.
Carol Lynley Former child model and movie star best known for her role in The Poseidon Adventure. Lynley lived in Inwood and attended school at Good Shepherd.
Lionel Mapleson Former Metropolitan Opera librarian and creator of the Mapleson Cylinders. Lived at 10 Park Terrace East.
Lin-Manuel Miranda Actor and creator of In the Heights and Hamilton. Former resident of Park Terrace Gardens.
John James Powers World War II Congressional Medal of Honor winner. According to the posthumous citation: “He sacrificed his life when he deliberately dove his plane from 18,000 feet to an extremely low altitude before release in order to insure a direct hit on the Japanese aircraft carrier, making good his words to his pilots prior to takeoff: “Remember—the folks back home are counting on us. I am going to get a direct hit if I have to lay it on the flight deck.” Attended Public School 52.
Arthur Sarnoff Artist best known for his depiction of dogs playing poker. Lived in Park Terrace Gardens.
Antonio Sbarbaro Drummer for the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. His Livery Stable Blues was the first Jazz single ever released. Lived at 35 Thayer Street.
Paul Stanley The KISS singer and guitarist, born Stanley Bert Eisen, lived at 531 West 211th Street as a child. In an authorized biography, KISS: Behind the Mask, Stanley recalled: “My family wasn’t that well off. When I was six, my father bought me a bike, which was the only thing I was given of any value. We weren’t affluent, but we survived. There were times when money was tight. In Manhattan, the four of us lived in a one-bedroom apartment; my parents slept in the living room and my sister and I shared the bedroom.”
Henry Stern The former New York City Parks Commissioner, who grew up in the neighborhood, once described Inwood as being “almost as little known to New Yorkers as to the residents of Illinois.”
Isidor Straus Former Macy’s owner had a home on Inwood Hill. He and wife, Ida, perished aboard the Titanic.
Edward van Sloan Played vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing opposite Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. Resided at 230 Seaman Avenue.
William “Boss” Tweed Once lived inside Libby Castle, which stood in what is now Fort Tryon Park.
Dr. Leopold Weiss Brother of Harry Houdini. Lived at 57 Park Terrace West.