Curtis Sliwa opened the first recycling center in Brooklyn, NY, essentially by himself, when he was only 14 years old. Known as the teenage “neighborhood junk collector,” Sliwa collected empty cans, glass bottles, newspapers, and scrap pieces of metal, storing them in his basement after having prepared them for recycling...Read More
To make up for a scarcity of police patrols, Curtis retooled the focus of the volunteer effort to fill the void in crime fighting and the group took to the subway. The 13-member, multi-racial team of volunteers became known as “The Magnificent Thirteen.” The group agreed to ride the subways..Read More
As word spread of the Magnificent Thirteen’s heroic deeds, more rushed to join the efforts. On February 13, 1979, Curtis Sliwa created “The Guardian Angels.” Volunteers of all ages go through weeks-long rigorous training, in which they learn martial arts techniques in order to defend themselves, enforce discipline, and make..Read More
In 1985, immigrants were being preyed upon by Tijuana police and border bandits as they came across into California. They were being raped, robbed, and assaulted. However, no one came to their aid on either side of the border. Immigrant groups asked the Guardian Angels to patrol the canyons separating..Read More
On June 19, 1992, Curtis Sliwa was kidnapped and shot by two gunmen after entering a stolen taxi in Manhattan. The taxi picked up Sliwa near his home in the East Village, and a gunman hiding in the front passenger seat jumped up and fired several shots, hitting Sliwa in..Read More
In 1993, Curtis was appointed the stickball commissioner of New York City. He supervised and played in the New York Daily News sponsored city-wide championship. He continued to promote stickball as NYC’s game and introduced it into Havana, Tokyo, Berlin, and Denver. In 2010, he created a stickball tournament for..Read More
Curtis Sliwa has been a competitor in gastronomical eating contests for years. In 1996, after two failed attempts to win the Nathans’ famous hotdog eating championship, on July 4th, he finally placed third. The first-place winner was Ed Krachie, the 260 lb. Maspeth incinerator. Sliwa had almost defeated him two..Read More
In 2003, Curtis Sliwa began the Junior Guardian Angels Program for boys and girls who were from 6-15 years old. They do not patrol, but rather do other forms of community service. They have after school activities at the Guardian Angels Training Center in Washington Heights where they learn martial..Read More
In 2017, Curtis Sliwa was arrested for the 77th time while trying to serve court ordered papers on Mayor de Blasio at Gracie Mansion. At the time, Sliwa was chairman of NYC’s reform party. Sliwa believed that Mayor de Blasio had recently had the reform party candidate removed from the..Read More
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, major cities have been faced with aggressive riots and lootings. Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels stated their goal is to keep order and protect the community, but one night during the riots, a few members of the group were attacked themselves by looters trying to..Read More
Curtis Sliwa and his fellow Guardian Angels have taken it upon themselves to put out extra patrol on the streets of Chinatown, Sunset Park, Flushing, and other areas that have large Chinese populations. Their goal has been to protect those that have been targeted for hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic...Read More
In the beginning of 2020, Curtis Sliwa announced he will officially be running for NYC Mayor 2021. Sliwa is quoted saying, “’De Blasio recently said in his state of the city address that he wants to save our city after spending his six years in office destroying it. Having failed..Read More
In the late 1970’s, New York City was a modern-day equivalent of the Wild West. Murder and violent crime were the norm. A trip on the Subway was an exercise in urban survival. Residents of the city resigned themselves to the reality as the politicians and police seemed powerless.
However, a young man from Brooklyn, a former Jesuit student, felt someone had to do something. Curtis Sliwa stepped forward. He knew that the city he was born in, the city he loved, deserved better. Curtis Sliwa acted.
THE GUARDIAN ANGELS
What started as a group of him and a dozen other dedicated volunteers riding the subways of New York to serve as protectors of everyday law-abiding citizens, grew into the “Guardian Angels” that residents of the Big Apple have come to know and love. With their distinctive Red Berets, they are as New York as Central Park or a potato knish. They operate under the motto “we dare to care” and have proved it over and over through the years, in some cases with their lives.
These days, the Guardian Angels have chapters in thirteen countries and over one hundred cities. While the original hometown group of thirteen has grown to thousands across the globe, the mission has not changed: to make a positive change in the community by involving members of our communities to step forward and take an active role. While the classic street patrols are the lifeblood of the organization, we all know that reaching the youth in our neighborhoods, especially the most at risk, is crucial. Once again, the Guardian Angels is meeting the need.
The “Junior Angels” program, their youth outreach programs, and their Washington Heights Community Center, provides help for kids with everything from homework to nutrition while getting them actively involved in their community. What Curtis Sliwa believed back in the beginning and till this day is that when people take an active role in their community, it makes things better for all of us.