Irving Waltman

Inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1983

Born in Hartford, Waltman graduated Northwest Grammar School, where he played on a city championship basketball team in 1928 and a champion baseball team. He remembered that as a reward for winning the baseball championship, the team got to go to a game between the Yankees and the Philadelphia Athletics at Yankee Stadium, where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were both playing.

At Weaver High School, he played three sports and lettered in baseball and basketball. He went on to Amherst College, where he played baseball and basketball and was on the swim team; and then Yale School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1941, one of the first Jewish students accepted there. During World War II, he served as an Army surgeon in the U.S. and Germany. Upon returning home and finishing his residency, he became the first Jewish surgeon at Hartford Hospital. He had an active private practice at Hartford Hospital in general surgery, from 1950 until his retirement in 1989.

He was a founding member of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, and along with his wife Fran established the Edward Lewis Wallant Book Award and supported the Greenberg’s Center’s programs at the University of Hartford. He was an outstanding tennis and squash player and loved long-distance ocean swimming.

Read more: Jewish Ledger Article on Waltman’s at 100
Waltman Reminisces about Emanuel
Oral History