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100 People Who Changed New York

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Designer Calvin Klein.  

JOEY RAMONE, Ramone. Rock-and-roll revisioner, wore leather, no pinhead. Extra Bite >>>

REAL-ESTATE BUYER FOR NEW YORK UNIVERSITY. When they closed Julian’s Pool Hall to put up a dorm, it was a sad day.

LEN RIGGIO, chairman, Barnes & Noble. At least they haven’t taken over the 42nd Street library yet.
Extra Bite >>>

PAT RILEY, coach, Knicks. Let Starks keep shooting but made Knicks a hot ticket again.

CHRIS ROCK, comic, filmmaker. Outta Bed-Stuy, C.R. caught black comedy up to Richard Pryor. Pootie Tang: a masterwork!

FELIX ROHATYN, financial fixer. Provided right smoke, mirrors to bail out city in 1975 fiscal crisis.

FREDERICK ROSE, philanthropist. Put up cash for new Hayden Planetarium, Jazz at Lincoln Center, main-library reading room, etc.

ABE ROSENTHAL, editor, New York Times. Made the newsroom a living hell, but did fatten paper with the “Weekend,” “Living,” “Home,” “Sports Monday,” and “Business Day” sections.

STEVE RUBELL, co-host, Studio 54. He owned the night.

HOWARD RUBENSTEIN, PR kingpin. Sidney Falco never learned hand-to-hand combat like this.

BARRY SCHECK, lawyer, co-head, Innocence Project. Proved the criminal-justice system doesn’t work. Whoops.

REBBE SCHNEERSON, Chabad Lubavitch leader, possible moshiach. His moral, political force field extended far beyond Crown Heights.

MARTIN SCORSESE, filmmaker. With Mean Streets, he demolished the staid New York television-based mise-en-scène. Now, you couldn’t see things too good, but they rocked.


JERRY SEINFELD, star, Seinfeld. Post-Allen N.Y.-behavior modeler. Extra Bite >>>

FRANK SERPICO, cop, Knapp Commission whistle-blower, 1971. Breaking the blue wall takes a toll. Extra Bite >>>

ALBERT SHANKER, UFT president. Got money for his people, but with 1968 teachers’ strike, he seeded black-white liberal estrangement.

AL SHARPTON, activist, politician, boy-wonder preacher. For better or worse, the public face of black New York. Not MLK.

SAM SHEPARD, playwright, actor. Sexy innovator of downtown theater. Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class: a big light, switched on.

NICKY SIANO, disco D.J. Claims to have invented the segue, at the Gallery in 1972. No reason not to believe him.

RUSSELL SIMMONS, owner, Def Jam Recordings. How to be a rap boss without killing anyone.

PATTI SMITH, rocker, poet. Electric bohemia for the post-Burroughs era.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM, theater colossus. Pulled Broadway from the fifties, never to return.

GEORGE SOROS, hedge-funder, philanthropist. Set new template for giving away money in globalized times.

ART SPIEGELMAN, cartoonist, art polemicist. Inventor of Wacky Packs, author of Maus, Spiegelman has politicked the comic strip to heroic proportions.

GEORGE STEINBRENNER, Yankees owner. The back page’s best friend.
Extra Bite >>>


GLORIA STEINEM, founder, Ms. magazine. Fun feminist. Extra Bite >>>

HOWARD STERN, shock jock. Leering envelope pusher of the haw-haw a.m.

MARTHA STEWART, fin-de-siècle consumerist. Who cares what she’s done?! We need the cantaloupe granita!
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TAKI 183, graffiti artist. If you were on the 4 train in 1973, you know he changed New York.

DONALD TRUMP, fortunate son, builder, tabloid headline. Trump this, Trump that. The name itself is onomatopoeia.
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MIKE TYSON, boxer. Even before the face tattoo, Mike set thug street cred.

DIANA VREELAND, editor, taste arbiter. Dowager empress, a classic of rouged ears and black-polished hair.

DAVID WALENTAS, Dumbo developer. Used to be so nice and lonely down under that bridge underpass, too.

ANDY WARHOL, neo-renaissance culture visionary. His fifteen minutes never end.
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ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, touristical theater-mounter. New Times Square rode in behind the squatty blocking of Cats, Phantom. That’s Lord Lloyd Webber to you.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, neo-maverick film producer. No him, no power omelette at Bubby’s.
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ANNA WINTOUR, editor, Vogue. Bringing fashionable chill to the masses.
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TOM WOLFE, author, wearer of white. If Sherman McCoy had read “The Me Generation,” he could have saved himself a lot of trouble.
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ANDREW WYLIE, literary agent. In the book jungle, no one cast a darker shadow, or raised the price scale, like the Jackal.

MINORU YAMASAKI, architect, World Trade Center. Finished 1976. Never beloved until they were gone, the Twin Towers etch into the heart with the force of archetype. Extra Bite >>>


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