hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

March 28, 2013

Hard work, dedication can bring fame to locals

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Until you visit it, you might never realize how many famous people have ties to Haverhill.

The Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame features prominent people from entertainment circles, the field of medicine and the world of business, among other professions.

And these are not people who made minimal contributions to their fields or just had a cup of coffee in Haverhill.

They had close ties to the city and made substantial contributions to their fields.

Consider these names: Frank Lahey, founder of Lahey Clinic; Rowland Macy, founder of Macy’s department stores, the first of which was in Haverhill; movie king Louis Mayer, who had his first theater in Haverhill; Frankie Fontaine, the comedian well known for his TV appearances on the “Jackie Gleason Show;’’ Andre Dubus, longtime Bradford College professor and award-winning fiction writer; Thomas Sanders, principal backer of Alexander Graham Bell when he developed the telephone; Bob Montana, creator of “Archie’’ comics, once the top-selling comic in the nation.

The list goes on. The Hall of Fame display at the public library is a source of pride for the community and something that can inspire young people to reach for their goals.

In the coming decades, the Hall of Fame Committee will have plenty of other names to choose from. The seeds are being planted now.

Consider Karen Struck, for instance.

Struck, a Haverhill native, is in California these days, writing episodes of the television series, “Monday Mornings’’ on TNT. (See story, Page 1.)

The show is a medical drama based on a book by Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN. The series is centered on a fictional hospital’s mortality conferences, in which surgeons grill each other with no outside witnesses and no holds barred.

Struck formerly worked on a project for Hallmark TV. Who knows where her career will take her?

For her and other Haverhill people now making names for themselves in fields far beyond the city’s borders, one thing is for certain. If they continue to achieve and make their mark on society, they stand a chance of being entered into their hometown’s Hall of Fame.

It’s an honor that will leave them in good company.

It will also remind others that commitment and hard work can propel them to a prominent place in their profession.