Like any Hall of Fame – Baseball, Football, Rock and Roll, Robot -- it’s more fun to talk about the people (or robots) who are left out than it is to discuss those who made it in.
And this week’s news that General Robert T. Herres (pictured), the first head of the U.S. Space Command and the first vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under General Colin Powell) has died at the age of 75, serves to highlight a couple of missing persons in East High School’s inaugural list of Alumni Heritage Hall inductees.
Granted, East’s HOF was just recently created and plans to induct thirty people (ten of them who are still living) right away (for a complete list and information, see below). And, yes, I understand that East, as Denver’s oldest and most awesome public high school, has had many notable grads.
But, like I said, let’s talk about who isn’t in that first class:
Robert Herres, born in 1932, attended East in the late 1940s before heading to the U.S. Naval Academy and then serving in the Air Force. He flew F-86 fighters and trained as an astronaut although he never got the chance to go to space. Later in his career, he took command of NORAD and then served under Powell from 1987 to 1990.
He was also CEO of the San Antonio-based insurance and financial services company, USAA, which caters to military members and their families, and was credited for expanding eligibility to include enlisted personnel.
Daniel Walker Howe, class of ’55, won the Pulitzer Prize in history earlier this year for his 928-page book, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. Published last fall, the book is part of the Oxford History of the United States and covers the period from the Battle of New Orleans through the Mexican-American War. Howe, who grew up in Park Hill, has been a professor at UCLA, Yale and Oxford; he visited East three years ago for his fiftieth reunion.
Me. Yeah, that’s right. I graduated from East in 1987 and went on to become managing editor of Westword, Denver's most righteous weekly newspaper. Not enough for you? Well, I also came in 2nd in a chili cook-off eight years ago and won my Fantasy Football tournament last year.
They couldn’t have opened up one more tiny little spot in Heritage Hall? – Jonathan Shikes
The thirty inductees will be honored on September 18 at a gala dinner. They are:
Marilyn Van Derbur Atler, 1955 – Miss America, motivational speaker
Norman R. Augustine, 1953 – Aerospace Business Executive, president and CEO of Martin Marietta
Philip Bailey, 1969 – Lead Singer with Earth, Wind and Fire
Elvin Caldwell, 1937 – Political Leader, first African-American City Councilman in Denver
Don Cheadle, 1982 – Actor
Judy Collins, 1957 – Singer and Recording Artist
Alice Eastwood, 1879 – Botanist
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 1900 – Actor and Movie Producer
Thomas Hornsby Ferril, 1914 – Poet Laureate of Colorado
Miriam Harris Goldberg, 1934 – Newspaper Publisher, Intermountain Jewish News
Pam Grier, 1967 – Film and Television Actress
General Irving Hale, 1877 – Military Commander, Spanish American War
Allegra “Happy” Haynes, 1971 – Denver City Councilwoman, Political Leader
Barry Hirschfeld, 1960 – Businessman and Philanthropist
Dr. Abraham Kauvar, 1931 – Physician and Public Health Care Advocate
Harold Lloyd, 1911 – Actor, silent films
Jenne & Ethel Magafan, 1933 – Artists, Depression-era Muralists (twin sisters)
Hattie McDaniel, 1911 – Actress, first African-American to win an Oscar
Anthony Ortega, 1976 – Artist, Muralist
Maurice Pate, 1911 – Humanitarian, co-founder of UNICEF
Mary Antoinette Perry, 1906 – Actress, Tony Awards founder
Maurice Rose, 1915 – Military Commander, WWI and WWII
Sidney Sheldon, 1934 – Writer
Dr. George Gaylord Simpson, 1918 – Paleontologist
Robert Steele, Sr., 1877 – Colorado Supreme Court Justice
John L. “Jack” Swigert, 1949 – Astronaut, Apollo 13
Hannah Marie Wormington Volk, 1931 – Archeologist
George Hebard Williamson, 1893 – Architect, designed East High School
Jean Joliffe Yancey, 1932 – Businesswoman
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.