Henry Geller

Henry Geller, Former Willowbrook Resident, Dies at 72

Geller was an advocate of public interest throughout his distinguished media and telecom policy career, working at both the FCC and National Labor Relations Board before serving Duke University’s Washington Center for Public Policy Research as director.

At the FCC, he persuaded them to require TV stations to broadcast public service announcements about smoking’s health hazards.

Early Life and Education

Yesterday, Willowbrook Archives at College of Staten Island gained an enriching new addition: former Willowbrook resident Henry Geller donated his self-published memoir about his experiences at Willowbrook – as well as post-leave life – detailing both experiences at and life after leaving Willowbrook Warehouse for Developmentally Disabled Adults.

Geller was employed at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission as a messenger and clerk, where he learned how to navigate the subway without using maps. Later he would move into HeartShare’s Subbiondo I residence located in Queens to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Geller was an outspoken supporter of bold policies that served the public good, providing legal rationale for FCC broadcast equal employment opportunity rules as well as pushing reforms designed to foster localization and diversity within broadcast ownership.

Professional Career

Geller was an outspoken advocate of public interest during his 30-year career in communications policy. He served as both first administrator of the National Telecommunications Information Administration and general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission; additionally he held positions at Duke University’s Washington Center for Public Policy Research.

Geller was an extraordinary advocate, helping shape the telecoms landscape through his efforts on issues such as equal employment opportunity rules, the Fairness Doctrine and broadcast cigarette advertising. A tireless campaigner for change, Geller was constantly looking for innovative strategies and advocating that cable TV be classified as a common carrier; unfortunately the FCC never adopted his recommendations. Geller is living with cerebral palsy and remembers his time at Willowbrook State School on Staten Island – although not looking back too deeply on it.

Achievement and Honors

Margaret Geller is a physicist at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has received many honors and awards for her work. These include receiving a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship as well as being elected into American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990 and receiving the Watson Medal from National Academy of Sciences.

She has long been a champion of science education and public engagement. To this end, she created films featuring graphics designed to take children and adults on journeys through space. Additionally, she gave many public lectures about her work.

Geller lives at HeartShare’s Bayside, Queens Subbiondo I residence and dictated her memoir to Paige Ingalls, HeartShare’s Director of Incident Management. In November 2018 she donated it to College of Staten Island/CUNY Library’s Willowbrook archive.

Personal Life

Henry Geller was an enthusiastic champion for change who always looked for innovative strategies. With an extraordinary memory and high-pitched voice that could not be stopped, Henry could often speak at breakneck speed; his ideas however, were always clear and potency.

Geller lives at HeartShare Residence in Queens, NY and had his early years spent attending Willowbrook State School for People with Disabilities on Staten Island – now part of CUNY and housing College of Staten Island. Lifestyles for the Disabled is also located on this campus and produces Life Wire news – an outlet produced and distributed by individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Net Worth

He has amassed an estimated net worth of $55 Million through his career as an international magician, which he earned while remaining 72 years old and keeping his personal affairs private.

Geller was an accomplished communications policy expert, having held roles at both the FCC and National Telecommunications Information Administration. A tireless fighter for change, he constantly sought new strategies.

He was widely known for his spoon-bending tricks, which he claimed could only be accomplished with the power of his mind. Additionally, he claimed psychic abilities and used them to bend watches, keys, and other objects with such strength as to make them bend into new shapes. James Randi among others criticised him for these acts, accusing him of using sleight of hand techniques for his stunts; some even believe he worked as a psychic spy for various governments including CIA.

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