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1978 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Joseph Solomon*

Counselor at Law
Gallet Dreyer & Berkey

"Cast thy bread upon its waters; it shall be returned to you manyfold."

Joseph Solomon was the son of poverty-stricken Russian immigrants. He and his seven brothers and sisters spent most of their younger years in a four-room, cold water tenement in East Harlem. While in elementary school, Solomon earned 10 cents a day making deliveries for stores. On the weekends, he sold fruit and delivered newspapers. Eventually, he had to leave elementary school to work full time. When he was 15, he got a job as a messenger boy for a law firm, which paid him $10 a week. After being exposed to some of the most outstanding legal minds of the century, Solomon was determined to become a lawyer. In one year of evening study, he made up for his lack of formal education and passed the Regents qualifying examinations. In 1927, he graduated from New York Law School. In 1929, he joined the legal staff of the firm for which he had served as a messenger. He rose to senior partner in 1966. Solomon served as executor and adviser for the estates of eminent artists, industrialists, and philanthropists, and enjoyed national stature in the legal fields of wills, trusts, and estates.

* Deceased