(1901-1970)
Inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1983
Growing up in Hartford, Suisman was recognized equally for his achievements in football, basketball, and baseball. He was captain of the football team at Hartford High and played on the city championship-winning basketball team of the YMHA. When Suisman’s Hartford High School team beat New Britain (after a long streak of losing to them), his father hired a band and they paraded through the streets of Hartford. His brother Ed remembered that Sam “was considered one of the finest high school football players and one of the finest high school basketball players in his time.”
Samuel Suisman participated in three sports at the Peddie School in New Jersey, until he dislocated his shoulder in a football game. His budding athletic career at Syracuse University was cut short by his father’s death, and he returned to the family business, Suisman & Blumenthal. His primary athletic interest from that point on was golf, and he won many tournaments at Tumblebrook Country Club, where the annual medal play was named after him. He also continued to play basketball on the Hartford YMHA team, alongside Morris Cohen and Rube Cohen.
Along with his siblings, he inherited a strong sense of community responsibility and was active with several Jewish organizations. He was particularly dedicated to Mt. Sinai Hospital and worked tirelessly as chairman of the building committee. The Samuel C. Suisman Pavilion at Mt. Sinai is a memorial to his commitment to making Mt. Sinai a major factor in community health care.