Fresh off our first Jewish genealogy conference, the JTA Archive would like to reconnect with former Jewish newsmakers and/or their relatives. This edition: our nation’s healthiest (Jewish) boy.
On August 23, 1934, JTA published the attached photo of Mortimer H. Foxman, crowned "healthiest boy in the U.S." at the 1934 Chicago Fair. Time Magazine wrote of the contest:
Last week in a prize contest which the Century of Progress conducted Clista Millspaugh, heels down, head up and chest out, again won the title of healthiest U. S. girl, this time alone. Reward: $100 as a preliminary winner; $250 more for the finals. Shirley Drew came in second.
Miss Millspaugh’s running mate as "healthiest U. S. boy" was Mortimer Foxman, 16, 5 ft. 7¼ in., 133 lb., who after high-school hours works in his mother’s Chicago electrical shop.
The Sentinel, a Jewish weekly paper in Chicago, ran an announcement of Foxman’s engagement to Lucille Fogel on December 15, 1938 (in the same notice as the engagement Fogel’s sister, Ruth). But two years later, in the June 30 issue of The Sentinel, Ms. Fogel’s name appeared alongside someone else’s in the engagement section, leaving us uncertain about what happened to Mr. Foxman.
If Foxman is alive today, he would be 93 years old; we would hope he’s as healthy as he was at 16.
Special thanks to the Asher Library at the Chicago Spertus Institute and the 31st IAGJS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy for inspiration, resources and research assistance.