New York City (NYC) is a part of New York and this most populated urban center is considered the global cultural hub. New York City is one of the most influential cities in the word and impacts global finance, politics, culture, media, fashion, education, technology and many other areas of life. Life and death go hand in hand; therefore, the most populous cities also have the most occupied cemeteries too. There are many cemeteries in NYC in different localities. Not excluding many others, they include: Lake View Cemetery, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Huntington Rural Cemetery, Sacred Heart Cemetery, Huntington, Quaker Cemetery Flushing Cemetery, Kensico Cemetery, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Fern Cliff, St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Machpelah Cemetery and Beth El Cemetery. Below are some of the most famous graves in NYC.
1. Julia Boggs Dent Grant
Julia Boggs Dent Grant was born on January 26, 1826, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. and died on December 14, 1902 at the age of 76 years in Edgerton, Wisconsin, U.S. She was the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1869 to 1877. As the First Lady; she participated actively in presidential matters and even attended Senate hearings, met the cabinet members and went through the presidential mail. She was buried alongside her husband in General Grant National Memorial. The tomb is located near Morningside Heights, Manhattan, in New York City. To clarify a controversy about the location of the tomb, Mrs. Grant wrote, ‘Riverside was selected by myself and my family as the burial place of my husband, General Grant. … I believed New York was his preference. … it is near the residence … the offer of a park in New York was the first which observed and unreservedly assented to the only condition imposed by General Grant himself, namely, that I should have a place by his side.’
2. Robert Temple Emmet
Robert Temple Emmet was born to William Jenkins Emmet and Julia Colt Piersonon December 13, 1854 in New York City and died on October 25, 1936 at the aged of 81 years. He is buried at Beechwoods Cemetery, New Rochelle, and Westchester County, New York. Having graduated from West Point in 1877, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the 9th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers. In 1879, he was awarded the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Las Animas Canyon. The Medal of Honor Citation read: ‘Lt. Emmet was in G Troop which was sent to relieve a detachment of soldiers under attack by hostile Apaches During a flank attack on the Indian camp, made to divert the hostiles Lt. Emmet and 5 of his men became surrounded when the Indians returned to defend their camp. Finding that the Indians were making for a position from which they could direct their fire on the retreating troop, the Lieutenant held his point with his party until the soldiers reached the safety of a canyon. Lt. Emmet then continued to hold his position while his party recovered their horses. The enemy force consisted of approximately 200.’
3. William Henry Keeler
William Henry Keeler was born on March 3, 1872 and died on January 1, 1923. He was a Major League Baseball player and he was one of the best hitters of his time. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. To his team, he advised, ‘Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t.’ He was buried in Cavalry Cemetery, in Queens, New York City, New York. The cemetery is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. It is looked after by the trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. With more than 3 million burials, the Cavalry Cemetery has the largest number of interments, compared with any other cemetery in the U.S.
4. Michael Francis Welch
Michael Francis Walsh was born on July 4, 1859 and died on July 30, 1941 at the age of 82 years in Concord, New Hampshire. He is interred in the Cavalry Cemetery under his birth name, Walsh, in Woodside, Queens, New York. He was a Major League Baseball pitcher and was the third baseball player to get 300 victories in his career. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. During his career, he played 13 seasons in the major leagues, of which 10 were played with the New York Gothams or Giants and three were played with the Troy Trojans.
5. Richard Byrnes
Richard Byrnes was born in County Cavan, Ireland in 1832 and died on June 10, 1864 in Cold Harbor, Virginia, United States. He was buried at Cavalry Cemetery, Queens, New York. He was an Irish American officer in the U.S. Army. During the American Civil War, he commanded the Union Army’s Irish Brigade. On June 3, 1864, just two days after assuming the command of the Irish brigade, during the attack on Cold Harbor, he was fatally wounded. While still alive, he was conveyed to Washington, where his wife reached before him. President Abraham Lincoln had approved his promotion to Brigadier General, but his life did not permit the receipt of the news officially.
6. Alfred Emanuel Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith was born to His father, Alfred Emanuele Ferraro and Catherine Mulvihill on December 30, 1873 in Manhattan, New York City and died on October 4, 1944 at the aged of 70 years in New York City. He was elected as Governor of New York four times and in 1928, he was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate. For the first time, he mobilized the female Roman Catholic votes. He was a vocal opponent of Roosevelt’s New Deal. He married Catherine Ann Dunn on May 6, 1900 and had five children with her. He strengthened laws relating to worker’s compensation, women’s pension and women’s labor during his governorship in New York. His wife died of cancer on May 4, 1944 and he did not live long afterward and died of a heart attack at the Rockefeller Institute Hospital on October 4, 1944. He is buried at Cavalry Cemetery.
7. James John Corbett
James John Corbett was born on September 1, 1866 in San Francisco, California and died on February 18,1933 at the age of 66 years in Bayside, New York City. He was buried in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. He was a former heavyweight boxing champion. He won the championship on September 7, 1892 after knocking out the great boxer John L. Sullivan at the Olympic Club in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, posthumously. The media portrayed him as Gentleman Jim Corbett.
8. Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr.
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. was born on August 25, 1913 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died on October 18, 1973 at the age of 60 years. He was an American cartoonist and animator. He started his career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios and contributed to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio and at Dell Comics he created the character Pogo, for which he is remembered. It is generally regarded that he had been interred in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn, New York.
9. George Herman Ruth, Jr.
George Herman Ruth, Jr., nicknamed Bambino, was born on February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland and died on August 16, 1948 at the age of 53 years in New York City. He was a Major League Baseball player. During his professional career, between 1914 and 1935, he played for 22 seasons on three teams. He was one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. ESPN considered him ‘the first true American sports celebrity superstar.’ He was laid to rest alongside his second wife, Claire, in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.
10. Stephen Allen
Stephen Allen was born on July 2, 1767 and died on July 28, 1852. His father died when he was only two years old and he was raised by his aunt. He recalled that he used to accompany his aunt to take soup for the American prisoners during the British occupation in the Revolutionary War. Starting as an apprentice of a poor sail maker, he rose to the position of Mayor of New York City. He was killed at the age of 85 years during the wreck of the steamship Henry Clay in Riverdale, Bronx. He was buried at the New York City Marble Cemetery.
Queen’s Cemetery Belt is the largest burial ground in NYC and its history is traceable to the Rural Cemeteries Act of 1847. For the first time, cemeteries in New York became legitimate commercial enterprises. The act permitted the nonprofit organizations to buy land and sell plots to individuals. Following the cholera epidemic between 1832 and 1849, infected corpses were suspected to contaminate the soil; therefore, burials were prohibited in Manhattan in 1852.