Monday, August 28, 2017

Creator: Jack Kirby in the Census and Army

August 28 would have been Kirby’s 100th birthday.

Benjamin Kurtzberg, Kirby’s father, signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. His home address was 147 Essex Street in Manhattan, New York City, which was Kirby’s birthplace. (1905 postcard of Essex Street)

During World War I, The New York Times, September 12, 1917, reported the names of New York City men who enrolled in the Army. One of them was Louis Reiff who lived at 147 Essex Street.

Austrian and German aliens in New York City were branded enemies by the New York Herald. Benjamin Kurtzberg and other tenants in his building were on the newspaper’s list. 

December 11, 1917: “Austrian Enemy Aliens Living in New York City”
Reppi, Harry, 147 Essex st.

December 15, 1917: “More of New York City’s Austrian Alien Foes”
Halem, Isaac, 147 Essex st.

December 18, 1917: “Austrian Enemy Aliens Living in New York City”
Heman, Max, 147 Essex st.

December 22, 1917: “Have You the Herald’s Book of German Aliens?”
Kurtburg [sic], B., 147 Essex st.

December 27, 1917: “On File in the State Census as Austrian”
[illegible]burg, M., 147 Essex st.

The New York Sun, May 26, 1918, published a list of stores to patronize because they displayed the Red Cross Profit Sharing Emblem. On the list was the women’s wear store operated by “Sayetta, M., 147 Essex st.”

At some point the Kurtzberg family moved.

1920 United States Federal Census
Surname misspelled as “Kutzberg”
Address: 131 Suffolk Street, Manhattan, New York, New York
Household Members
Name / Age
Bennie Kutzberg, 31
Rose Kutzberg, 25
Jacob Kutzberg, 2
Bertha Beansteen, 40

1925 New York State Census
Surname misspelled as “Kurzberg”
Address: 131 Suffolk Street, Manhattan, New York, New York
Household Members
Name / Age
Benny Kurzberg, 38
Rose Kurzberg, 35
Jacob Kurzberg, 8
David Kurzberg, 3

According to the 1910 census, Benny Kurtzberg once lived at 136 Suffolk Street.

News about two of the tenants at 131 Suffolk Street.

The Daily Review (Freeport, New York), April 10, 1922

Sentence was suspended upon Louis Levy of 131 Suffolk street, New York City, when he was summoned before Justice Lewis Raisig, last Friday evening, on a charge of operating an automobile at thirty miles an hour along Broadway, on April 2. Motorcycle Patrolman Furneaux issued the summons.
Brooklyn Standard UnionNovember 21, 1922
Others fined were…Louis Levy, of 131 Suffolk street, Manhattan, $10 each for passing on the right of other vehicles.
The New York Times, January 8, 1925
Lost and Found Advertisement
Beaded bag, blue, in Premier taxi, containing small articles and set of false teeth; reward offered. Levy, 131 Suffolk St.
The New York Times, March 21, 1925
Fire Record
10:20 PM—131 Suffolk St.; [name] not given…[loss] not given
New York Sun, February 3, 1926
6 Men and a Girl Taken in Raid
Police Find Opium After Battering Doors Down.
Residents of Clinton street, near Rivington street, were roused from their slumbers at 5 o’clock this morning when, six patrolmen, commanded by Sergt. Louis Hunt of the Clinton street station, raided an apartment on the fifth floor of a six story tenement in Clinton street and arrested six men and a girl, all of whom, police allege, had been smoking opium. A can said to contain opium was seized by the raiding party.

…All the prisoners were taken to the Clinton street station, where they were questioned. They described themselves as…Mollie Klein, 18, of 131 Suffolk street.

At some point the Kurtzberg family found a new home.

1930 United States Federal Census
Surname misspelled as “Kutzberg”
Address: 172 Delancey Street, Manhattan, New York, New York
Household Members
Name / Age
Ben Kutzberg, 42
Rosie Kutzberg, 38
Jack Kutzberg, 13
David Kutzberg, 11

Below: Delancey Street looking north at Suffolk Street.

A brief history of 172 Delancey Street from the Exhibitors’ Times, May 17, 1913.
New York City Owns Moving Picture Theatres.
A fact that is not generally known, and one that would probably cause certain reformers to raise up their hands in horror, is that the City of New York actually owns and operates three moving-picture theaters on the East Side. I may not be amiss, perhaps, if I try to give a short synopsis of the history of each place.
No. 172 Delancey street, known as the “New Bridge Theatre,” was formerly an old police station house, with green lights in front to guide the honest. It has a municipal history that would gladden many an old New Yorker’s heart. In the days when New York wasn’t what it is now, this station house was the center of a pretty bad neighborhood, infested by the old famous Mangin street and Colears Hook gangs, and many a young policeman won his spurs in his efforts to bring certain notorious prisoners to the old station. With the growth of the city and the building of the Williamsburg Bridge the creation of the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza, new station house costing $500,000 was erected to float the left side of the plaza, and now Messrs. Rothbord & Gordon are managing as pretty a moving-picture theatre as was ever built, catering to the smiles and tears of the East Siders, on the identical spot where before prisoners in their cells would await trial.

1940 United States Federal Census
Address: 30 Banner 3rd Road, Brooklyn, New York
Name / Age
Benjamin Kurtzberg, 53
Rose Kurtzberg, 49
Jack Kurtzberg, 23
David Kurtzberg, 18

A fact you never knew: The census was enumerated April 13, 1940 by Peggy Carter (see upper right-hand corner).

In the 1940 census, Ben Kurtzberg said his family was in Brooklyn on April 1, 1935 (see column 17). A simple description of the Kurtzberg home is on page 14 of Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution (2008): “By the summer of 1940, Jack’s family had moved to the first floor of an attached brick home in Brooklyn.” A Google Street View of Banner Third Road matches the description.

Will Eisner’s Spirit Magazine, February 1982, Number 39, published Eisner’s interview with Kirby who mentioned his move to Brooklyn.
Eisner: Now at this point you were making money. Were you out on Long Island?
Kirby: No, no, this is far from Long Island. I was still trying to get into Brooklyn [laughter]. I heard they had a tree there, and the tree was different. Finally, when I did Captain America, I decided to move to Brooklyn….
According to Kirby: King of Comics (2008), Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941 cover date) was on the newsstands December 20, 1940.

In the summer of 1940, Rosalind Goldstein, her parents Hyman and Lena, and siblings Irving, Anita and Lawnece moved from 2716 East 12 Street, in Brooklyn, to the second floor of Kirby’s home.

On April 26, 1942, Ben Kurtzberg signed his World War II draft card. His address was 3142 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.

Kirby and Rosalind married on May 23, 1942.

Apparently, the 1942 New York City marriage records (above), at, have clerical errors. Both Jack Kurtzberg and Rosalind Goldstein have marriage certificate number 7665. Jack’s marriage date was March 6, 1942, while Rosalind’s was April 6, 1942. Their marriage was in Brooklyn.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Record

Name: Jack Kirby
Enlistment Date: June 7, 1943
Enlistment City: New York City

Social Security Death Index
Name: Jack Kirby
Born: August 28, 1917
Died: February 6, 1994

Name: Rosalind Kirby
Born: September 25, 1922
Died: December 22, 1997

Find a Grave
Burial: Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park
Westlake Village, Los Angeles County, California
Plot: Beth Olam section near the cemetery's entrance. Kirby’s grave is near the row of trees along the section’s perimeter.
GPS (lat/lon): 34.15184, -118.79883


  1. Bonjour,
    Serait-il possible de savoir ou obtenir ces documents ? je recherche des infos sur ma famille : DEES qui étaient de Kütgberg.
    Avec mes remerciements et cordiales salutations,

    1. GenealogyBank

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