NOTABLE ALUMNI OF CENTRAL YMCA HIGH SCHOOL
Mike Royko -- newspaper columnist, worked for the Chicago Daily News, Sun Times, and
Tribune for over 30 years. Also authored the book "Boss" about the late Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago from 1955-76.
Mike Bloomfield -- Blues guitarist, made a name for himself as an instrumental artist
during the late-1960's. Was a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (which later played at Woodstock in 1969), and
was ranked by Rolling Stone as number 22 on the top 100 guitarists of all-time in a poll conducted in 2003 by the
Barry Goldberg -- A close friend of Bloomfield, the guitarist was involved in the recording
of "Devil With A Blue Dress" by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels in 1966, plus was involved in a couple of bands
with Bloomfield. Goldberg has also been a record producer and (as of July 2012) was working on a documentary about the
rock-blues influence of the 1960s'.
Robert Sengstacke -- A photographer by trade, he was also involved with the Chicago Defender,
which is one of the last African-American daily newspapers and was founded by his great uncle John Sengstacke Abbott in 1905.
His photos of Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others are known and have been featured in various
compositions and with a periodical for the Nation of Islam, "Muhammad Speaks."
Gerald Mittelman -- A 30-yr veteran of the United States Air Force, his background in
computer science helped the USAF develop warning systems for missles and space command to alert the U.S. government in the
event of attack, and spent time with NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).
"I attended Central YMCA High School only in the summer of 1978. I had a class with Linda Leilani
Brown (of Dreamgirls fame). Central YMCA was located on the southeast corner of Dearbon and Randolph, with the entrance
next to the United Artists Theatre."
from Gary Michaels:
"Hey - I had friends who were enrolled at the time in 1971 (early term). I had attended Lake
Forest Academy (junior SATs of 696 verbal, 720 math), Roycemore School (National Merit Letter of Commendation). Thrown
out of both schools through my own devices, I enrolled in Central Y....recalling my endeavors and successes at the fine
private institutions I had been removed from, Central Y was 180 degrees different. Very cool artistic people spread out on
from an anonymous student:
"Hi, I would have gone to Central in 1972-74. I don't remember much, but the elevators stuck a lot. White
kids were a minority at least in my classes, and a lot of people asked if I was an albino. I was a towhead and had blue eyes.
The teachers were pretty cool and you could smoke in their offices. A bunch of us ditched there to smoke and drink coffee.
I liked the classes were not year-long like public school. I wound up enrolling in college just shy of 16."
From Glenda Donald (dated 10/25/2018):
"I attended Central YMCA HS, it was located at 29 Randolph, I loved that school. I remember a few of the
teachers' names: Mr. Figueroa, Mr. Lawson, Mr. Norman, Ms. Inwang. It was really was a nice school....we were like a family;
it was all love there."
From Curt Daniels
(class of 1973, dated 1/3/2019):
"I (was a)
graduate of the class of June 1973 from the Prudential Building. Would like to share memories of going to classes at 19 S.
LaSalle in the Loop. Thanks to all the teachers who helped all of us become mature men and women."
McCry (dated 1/19/2019):
"I attended Central
in 1970. I remember many faces, but few names. Central afforded many of a chance to overcome foolish mistakes we had made.
"The teachers were excellent. I remember Ms. Hastings:
English Composition and Rhetoric. Five classmates by name: Hank, Johnny, Kay, Fred, and Mike, from
the northwest of the city; Hank from the south side.
were the days of Woodstock and Hair, blues jams in the stairwells. When teenagers given up as lost, gathered
their senses at 19 South LaSalle."