xFamous Graduates

ADAMS, CLIFFORD 1970 – professional jazz trombone player
BETHEA, ELVIN 1964 – professional football player
BRODY, TAL 1961 – professional basketball player, Israeli national hero
CAUTHEN, TERRANCE 1995 – 1996 Olympic boxer, lightweight bronze medal winner
COOPER, ALBERT 1921 – 1928 Olympic soccer player, Trenton Municipal Court Judge
CROOKS, RICHARD 1918 – international opera singer
DINKINS, DAVID 1945 – Mayor of New York City, lawyer, professor
DOWNING, AL 1959 – professional baseball player
FURMAN, ROBERT 1932– engineer, supervised construction of Pentagon, WWII spymaster
GIBSON, JUDY 1965 – actress
GOSS, SAMMY 1965 – 1968 Olympics boxer
GRANT, GREG 1984 – professional basketball player
HAYLING, DR. LESLE 1944 – Tuskegee Airman, dentist
HENDRYX, NONA 1962 – vocalist, producer, songwriter, musician, author and actress
HIGGINBOTHAM, JR., A. LEON 1944 – federal judge, teacher, author, civil rights advocate
HUGHES, JOHN T. 1946 – Deputy Director of U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency
KING, ZALMAN (graduated as Zalman King Lefkowitz) 1959 – film director, writer, actor and producer
KOVACS, ERNIE 1937 – comedian, TV show host, radio disc jockey, actor
LINOWITZ, SOL 1931 – Chairman of Xerox Corp., diplomat, lawyer, author
MACK, TONY 1984 – Mayor of Trenton
NEMCHIK, GEORGE 1934 – 1936 Olympic soccer team
PETERS (-ROPER), GAIL 1947 – 1952 Olympic swimmer
ROBINSON, AMY 1966 – film producer (including “Baby, It’s You”), actress, speaker
ROBINSON, JERRY 1939 – comic book artist, cartoonist, author
SHANGE, NTOZAKE (graduated as Paulette Williams) 1966 – playwright, poet, author
SWITLIK, RICHARD 1935 – President of Switlik Parachute Company
THOMPSON, JR., FRANK 1937 – Congressman, State Assemblyman


Richard Crooks (1900 – 1972)
Class of 1918

International opera singer.  Tenor. First major concert in New York City in 1922. Recorded for Victor/RCA Victor Records. Hosted “Voice of Firestone” radio program. One of America’s greatest singers.


Albert Cooper (1904-1993)
Class of 1921

An all-around athlete who was excellent in many sports.  Goalie for the 1928 US Olympic soccer team.  Later in life he would become an attorney at law, NJ assemblyman, sheriff of Mercer County and a judge in Trenton Municipal Court.


Sol Linowitz (1913 – 2005)
Class of 1931

Buisnessman, diplomat, lawyer, author. Chairman, Xerox Corporation (1961 – 1966). Helped negotiate return of Panama Canal. Special United States Ambassador. Received Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Robert Furman (1915 – 2008)
Class of 1932

Civil engineer, spymaster in WWII. Key supervisor of construction of The Pentagon. Chief of intelligence for U.S. atomic bomb project. Visited Europe to monitor Nazi atomic bomb activities. Delivered uranium for U.S.’s first atomic bomb.


George Nemchik (1915 – 1988)
Class of 1932

Professional soccer player.  Forward. Member of 1936 U.S. Olympic Soccer team. Played professional soccer for 12 years. Member of 1937 U.S. National Soccer team. College All-American soccer (& baseball) player.


George Case (1915 – 1989)
Class of 1934

Professional baseball player.  Outfielder. Played for Washington Senators (1937 – 1947). Led American League in stolen bases 6 years. Selected to Major League All-Star Team 4 times Coached for college and major league teams.


Richard Switlik (1918 – 2004)
Class of 1935

Businessman, TCHS alumni supporter. President, Switlik Parachute Company, Trenton. The leading producer of parachutes for WWII. Now make life rafts, life vests and inflatable gear. Helped restore TCHS clock tower clock.


Ernie Kovacs (1919 – 1962)
Class of 1937

Comedian, TV show host, radio disc jockey, actor. In Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Influenced numerous TV comedy programs. Received Emmy for electronic camera work.


Frank Thompson, Jr. (1918 – 1989)
Class of 1937

Congressman, State Assemblyman. Served in WWII and Korean War.  Navy. Represented 4th District NJ (Trenton area) from 1955 to 1980.


Jerry Robinson (1922 – 2011)
Class of 1939

Comic book artist, cartoonist, author. Helped create for DC Comics Batman:  Robin & the Joker in the 1940’s. Created newspaper cartoons for the N.Y. Sunday News. Member of Comic Book Hall of Fame. Received Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award.


A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. (1928 – 1998)
Class of 1944

Federal judge, teacher, author, civil rights advocate. Judge of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (1977 – 1993). U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Member of the Federal Trade Commission. Received the Presidental Medal of Freedom.


Dr. Leslie Hayling (1926 –     )
Class of 1944

Tuskegee Airman, dentist. Served with the 332nd Fighter Group of U.S. Army Air Corps. America’s first black military airmen; one of 996 pilots. Received the Congressional Gold Medal.


David Dinkins (1927 –     )
Class of 1945

Mayor of New York City, lawyer, professor. New York City Clerk; Manhattan Borough President. First African-American mayor of New York City (1990 – 1993) Board member of The Jazz Foundation of America. Faculty of Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs.


John T. Hughes (1928 – 1992)
Class of 1946

Intelligence officer. An exceptional defense intelligence photo interpreter. Deputy Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Presented national televised briefing on Cuban Missile Crisis. Received numerous Presidential and Dept. of Defense awards. Defense Intelligence Agency library is named in his honor.


Gail Peters (-Roper) (1929-    )
Class of 1952

Co-captain of the TCHS girl’s swim team.  Swam the 200m breaststroke for the US team at the 1952 Olympics.  Winner of many AAU titles and US master championships in swimming.  Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1997.


Alphonso (Al) Downing (1941 –     )
Class of 1959

Professional baseball player.  Pitcher. Played in the Major Leagues for 17 years (1961 – 1977). NY Yankees, Oakland A’s, Milwaukee Brewers and LA Dodgers. Selected for All-Star Team in 1967; Pitched in three World Series. Gave up up Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974.


Zalman King (1942 – 2012)
Class of 1959

Film director, writer, actor and producer. Graduated from TCHS as Zalman Lefkowitz. Acted in the drama The Young Lawyers, broadcast on the ABC. Directed several films, including Two Moon Junction (1988), Wild Orchid (1990), and Red Shoes Diaries (1992). Collaborated on many projects with his wife, such as writing Wild OrchidDelta of Venus and 9½ Weeks.


Talbot (Tal) Brody (1943 –    )
Class of 1961

Professional basketball player in Israel.  Guard. Considered a national hero in Israel. Defeated Soviet team in 1977; coined phrase “We are on the map.” Led Israel to the European Cup championship in 1977. The first Israeli sportsman to be awarded the Israel Prize.


Nona Hendryx (1944 – )
Class of 1962

Vocalist, producer, songwriter, musician, author and actress. Began her career with the Bluebelle’s 1962 hit “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”,  Known for her work as a solo artist as well as being one-third of the trio Labelle, who had the 1975 hit “Lady Marmalade”.


Elvin Bethea (1946 –    )
Class of 1964

Professional football player, author.  Defensive end. Played for the Houston Oilers for 16 years (1968 – 1983). Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Authored:  “Smash Mouth:  My Football Journey from Trenton to Canton”.


Judy Gibson (1947 – 2005)
Class of 1965

Actress Performed on Broadway. Played Peg in the 1980 movie, The Jazz Singer.


Sammy Goss (1947 –     )
Class of 1965

US Olympic representative in the 119-pound boxing division at the 1968 Olympics.  Winner of five NJ Golden Gloves titles, 1965 National AAU flyweight champion and 1968 AAU bantamweight champion.  As a pro, winning the 1971 North American featherweight title in 1971 and the North American Jr. lightweight championship in 1973.


Amy Robinson (1948 –     )
Class of 1966

Film producer, actress, speaker. Wrote and produced “Baby, It’s You,” based on TCHS. Produced 16 films, including “Julie and Julia.” Served on the jury at the Sundance Film Festival. With Jill Clayburgh, speaks about show business.


Ntozake Shange (1948 –     )
Class of 1966

Playwright, poet, author, feminist. Attended TCHS as Paulette L. Williams. Best known for her play “For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf.” Has won numerous awards, prizes and fellowships.


Clifford Adams (1952 –     )
Class of 1970

Professional jazz trombone player. Performed solo on “Joanna” from Kool and the Gang His own solo CD hits are “The Master Power,” which did very well throughout Europe, home to an enormous Adams’ fan base and “Cliff Notes” .


Gregory (Greg) Grant (1966 –     )
Class of 1984

Professional basketball player.  Point guard. Played for Trenton State College; led Division III in scoring. Played for seven years in the National Basketball Association. Wrote a book about his career called “94 Feet and Rising.” Succeeded despite his small size (5’7″) for a basketball player.


Tony Mack (1966 –     )
Class of 1984

Elected Mayor of Trenton, NJ in 2010.  Served as Mercer County Freeholder (1996 – 2008). Competed in the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in 1987. Inducted into Howard University Athletics Hall of Fame.


Terrance Cauthen (1976 –     )
Class of 1995

US boxing team lightweight bronze medal winner at the 1996 Olympics.