Robert Rosenbluth (1887-1975)

Robert Rosenbluth, 1919

Robert Rosenbluth was born 17 January 1887 in New York City. He died June 1975 in Chicago, Illinois.

Robert’s father, Selig Rosenbluth, was born in Oserani, Russia on 4 July 1859, and emigrated to the United States in 1882 aboard the ship Silesia. Robert’s mother was Anna Glantz — also a native of Russia. The couple lived first in New York City but resided in Philadelphia after 1882. In the 1900 U.S. Census, Selig is enumerated as the Superintendent of the Home of Aged and Infirm Isrealites — part of the large Jewish Hospital complex on Old York Road in Philadelphia. His wife Anna is shown as “Matron.” It appears, however, that Selig remarried about 1908 to Sophia Zimdorfer — a native of Germany.

By 1909, Robert seems to have found employment as a forester with the U.S. Forestry Service. In that year, he applied for a U.S. Passport to go to Manila in the Philippines, and giving — for some unexplained reason — an erroneous birth date (28 February 1887).

U.S. Passport Application in 1909

Robert appears to have spent time working for the U.S. Forestry Service. In the 1910 U.S. Census, he is enumerated in Fredonia, Coconino, Arizona working as a forester.

When Robert registered for the draft in June 1917, he gave his residence as New York City, his employer as The Institute of Public Service, and, again, the 28 February 1887 birth date.

Robert Rosenbluth WWI Draft Registration

When Robert applied for a U.S. Passport in February 1919, he claimed to have been out of the country from December 1917 to June 1918 as part of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He also claims to have been absent from the U.S. between 1907 and 1909 on trips to the Philippines, China, and Japan. The need for his new passport, he claimed, was to participate in imports and exports in England, France, and Russia. He reports that his father, Selig, is residing in Bloomington, Illinois, and that his birth date was 17 January 1887 (correct).

1919 Passport Application

1919 Passport Application

Three months later, in France, Robert filed an Emergency U.S. Passport Application through the American Relief Administration (A.R.A.). In his application, he claimed to have come abroad “in commercial business” but was now serving with the A.R.A. and that he expected to terminate his service after six months and proceed to Constantinople, Turkey on personal business. In the supporting letter attached to his application, James McKnight of the A.F.A. authorizes a “special passport” to enable Robert to travel to “France, Switzerland, Jugo-Slavia, Roumania, Serbia, Russia, and Turkey in Europe.” It is interesting that someone blacked out Russia. From Harry’s letters it is clear that Robert wanted to travel to his father’s home country but it appears the men were not authorized to enter Russia under the auspices of the A.R.A. at the time. If Robert intended to do so, he would have to do so as a private citizen.

1919 Emergency Passport Application

1919 Emergency Passport Application

1919 Emergency Passport Application

In May 1920, Robert again applied for a U.S. Passport, this time to travel to Siberia via Japan and China under the authority of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish Sufferers.

1920 Passport Application

1920 Passport Application

Robert Rosenbluth, 1920

When Robert registered for the draft in 1942, he gave his residence as 3921 47th Street, Long Island City, Queens, New York. He gave his place of business as the Department of Correction at 100 Centre Street in NYC. He also gave Margaret Rosenbluth –presumably his wife — as the person who would always know is address.

Robert Rosenbluth WWII Draft Registration

Robert obtained a Social Security ID Number while living in Illinois sometime later and died in Chicago in June 1975.

Robert’s father, Selig, applied for a passport in 1904. In his application, he claimed to be a photographer. See below:

Seleg Rosenbluth 1904 Passport Application

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  1. Carla
    July 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Robert Rosenbluth graduated from the Yale Forestry School in 1907. He was a party of interest in the death of Major Cronkhite at Camp Lewis, Washington. The court aquitted him in 1924. see: http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9764

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