Robert De Niro’s Syracuse Ties: Exploring Actor’s Connection to Central New York
Did you know Robert De Niro has a connection to Syracuse, New York?
The legendary actor may have grown up in Greenwich Village and Little Italy but his family lives in Syracuse, and he has a shirt to prove it.
De Niro's grandfather Henry was a lifelong Syracuse resident. He worked as a food inspector and merchant for over 40 years. Henry passed away in 1976 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.
His obituary in the local paper noted his grandson had won an Oscar for his role in “The Godfather.” Henry and his wife, Helen, lived the majority of there adult lives on Durston Avenue.
De Niro Sr
De Niro's father, Robert Sr., was born in Syracuse in 1922. He grew up on Bryant Avenue and later Durston Avenue.
Robert Sr. became a famous artist. He studied art at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. That's where he met Virginia Admiral, whom he married in 1942. They moved to Greenwich Village and had their only son, Robert De Niro Jr.
Robert Sr. died of cancer in 1993 on his 71st birthday. De Niro created the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize in 2010, an annual $25,000 award that "focuses on a mid-career American artist devoted to the pursuit of excellence and innovation in painting."
De Niro in CNY
De Niro may have grown up in the city but spent plenty of time in Central New York.
It has been said that Robert (junior) spent lots of time in Syracuse with his family. His grandma, Helen, remained on Durston Avenue until her death at the age of 99 in 1999.
Where the Syracuse shirt came from remains a mystery. It may have been a gift from his family who called the Salt City home for years. Wherever it came from, it's cool to see a young De Niro wearing it with the same look from most of his movies.
Rub Elbows With the Stars at 8 Celebrity Owned Businesses in New York
Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams
CHECK IT OUT: 10 Inventions From Syracuse
Gallery Credit: Vinnie Martone