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Arnold H. Rosenberg letters


Held at: John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center [Contact Us]1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Arnold H. Rosenberg (July 12, 1935-September 12, 2007) was an openly gay baker, entrepreneur, attorney, and administrator. He was born in Camden, New Jersey and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. He later graduated from Lehigh University and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. With his family in Philadelphia, he lived at several Washington Square West locations including Clinton Street, Iseminger Street, and 318 South Camac Street, and from 1968-1978 he and his family lived at 2131 Delancey Street. After moving out on his own, he resided at the 2601 Parkway apartments, the Dorchester apartments, the Wanamaker House at 2020 Walnut Street, and finally a townhouse at 2031 South Street. He also took up residence in San Francisco, California, and later in life he lived in the Boca Raton/West Palm Beach, Florida, region.

He worked at the small firm Charen, Palitz, and Rosenberg in the Lewis Tower building at 15th and Locust for nearly twenty years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he served as an academic dean at the Institute for Paralegal Training (later renamed the Philadelphia Institute), where he had formerly been an Estates and Trusts instructor. In the mid 1980s, he began to operate a small pastry business (Rosenberg's Apple Pies) out of his apartment in San Francisco, offering samples to various local restaurants, catering businesses, and social clubs such as the Racquet Club of San Francisco. Before beginning his baked-goods business, he set up and operated a San Francisco savings and loan.

Notably, he was a prolific member of the Center City Residents Association, where he helped develop the Ball on the Square, an annual fundraising event held by the Friends of Rittenhouse Square. He was married once to Nancy Herbach Nance, and later had a long-term relationship with Joel Prybutok. He had two children, Amy Cohen and Linda McGuire, and seven grandchildren.

Toward the end of his life, he worked as a doorman at the President Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. He died of HIV-related lymphoma at the home of his daughter Linda in Woodstock, Connecticut.

In these letters addressed to his daughter Amy Rosenberg, Arnold Rosenberg describes his attempts to grow his small pastry business, his relationship with Joel Prybutok and Joel's daughter Sonya, and his everyday life as a wealthy resident of Center City and later San Francisco, going to dinners and enjoying films and museum trips.

He works with his food broker, Kay Meadows, to distribute samples of his pies to local restaurants, catering businesses, and social clubs, eventually winning the approval of the Racquet Club of San Francisco (though he was unable to secure an agreement with the social club due to his high prices).

The letters coincide with several of daughter Amy's important life milestones including her summer away at Wellesley College Exploration Summer Program (1980), her college years at Brown University (1982-1983), time abroad in Avignon, France (1985), and time spent in Salinas, Puerto Rico, training for the Peace Corps (1987).

In addition to the letters, the collection contains newspaper clippings about Rosenberg and his baking business, a recipe for "Arnold Rosenberg and Joel Prybutok's Date-Nut Brownies" which appeared in a holiday issue of Redbook magazine, and material from Rosenberg's memorial service in 2007. A selection of the letters have been transcribed by daughter Amy Cohen.

Gift, Amy Cohen, 2017

John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center
Finding Aid Author
Jun Rendich
Finding Aid Date
August 4, 2017
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Collection Inventory

Overview of the collection by Amy Rosenberg Cohen, 2017.
Box 1 Folder 1
Obituaries, memorial program, and eulogies, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 2
Newspaper and magazine clippings, 1984-1985, undated.
Box 1 Folder 3
Transcripts of selected letters (1982-1987), 2017.
Box 1 Folder 4
Letters from Arnold Rosenberg to Amy Rosenberg, 1980 July 3-1980 August 11, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Letters from Arnold Rosenberg to Amy Rosenberg, 1982 June 24- 1983 April 15.
Box 1 Folder 6
Letters from Arnold Rosenberg to Amy Rosenberg, 1985 January 2-1985 July 16.
Box 1 Folder 7
Letters from Arnold Rosenberg to Amy Rosenberg, 1987 January 26-1987 March 4.
Box 1 Folder 8
Miscellaneous postcards, greeting cards, and letters from Arnold Rosenberg to Amy Rosenberg, 1977 May 23-1987 January 25, undated .
Box 1 Folder 9

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