Hyman M. Perlo Fund
The Hyman M. Perlo Fund for Education & Culture honors Hyman M. Perlo’s vision of a better society by investing in our children and nurturing their talent.
Hyman M. Perlo
October 8, 1922-April 26, 2006
Hyman “Hymie” Perlo was born on October 8, 1922 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Rebecca & Abraham Perlo. Hyman was an outstanding athlete and excelled in basketball, baseball, and football. Named all high and all metropolitan player, he led the Roosevelt High School basketball team to their metro championships in 1939 & 1940. Red Auerbach, the famed winning coach of the Boston Celtics said, “Hyman was the best high school athlete to come out of Washington, DC.”
He was offered 50 athletic scholarships to college, but his playing career was irreversibly altered by the events of World War II. He joined the 509 Parachute Infantry Battalion and served his country with honor. Hyman received the Silver Star for saving the lives of many of his brothers-in-arms. He was also awarded the Purple Heart after being shot in the leg during a jump over Italy; he lived in a foxhole in Anzio for 69 days before being rescued. Returning to Ft. Benning, Georgia, Hyman served as a jumpmaster for the remainder of the war. He married his high school sweetheart, Edith Miller, just before he was shipped out and attributed his will to survive the war to his love for her. Together, they lovingly raised two daughters, Lisa and Carla.
After the war, he graduated from George Washington University. His professional life as an athlete was shattered by his war injury, but his passion to serve his community always involved sports. He worked as a lifeguard at the Takoma Park Outdoor Pool and ran the health club at the DC Jewish Community Center. While helping his wife run their clothing shops, he taught at the Boy’s Junior/Senior High School. But Hyman found the job of dreams when Abe Pollin, a childhood friend, asked him to become the Director of Community Relations for the Capital Center and the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) – a job that allowed him to combine his passion for athletics and for his city. He developed exceptional programs for children and adults with special needs and created basketball clinics in neighborhoods throughout Washington, DC and Maryland until his retirement in 1991.
Perlo’s Pearls of Wisdom
“Surround yourself with intelligent, creative people.”
“Above all, be kind.”
“Leave the past behind you. Live in the present. If your present is good, your future will take care of itself.”
“In order to love your own child, you must love other people’s children.”
“If you think you have problems, look at the person next to you.”
Header photo: Energizers Creative Arts Camp Concert (c) Enoch Chan 2014