1931 – 2021
Dr. Malcolm G. Largmann, 89
Was Townsend Harris High School Founding Principal
Dr. Malcolm G. Largmann, former principal of the re-established Townsend Harris High School at Queens College, died in his home in Brooklyn on May 30, 2021. He was 89 years old.
Dr. Largmann, a strong liberal arts proponent with high standards for teachers and students, served as principal of Townsend Harris High School from 1984 until his retirement in 2001. He had been specifically selected as principal by the NYC Chancellor of Education to reopen and restaff the school, which had previously been closed.
Townsend Harris was recently ranked by US News & World Report as the top high school in New York State and twelfth in the nation. The original Townsend Harris High School, closed in 1942 for budget reasons and reopened in 1984, boasted a long list of notable alumni in science, government, the arts, and literature. Graduates have included Dr. Jonas Salk, Justice Felix Frankfurter, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Ira Gershwin, Richard Rogers, Herman Wouk and Edward G. Robinson. Under Dr. Largmann’s leadership, the school was named a National School of Excellence within five years of its reopening. He was known for telling his students that at Townsend Harris, “we do not demand excellence, but rather we expect it.”
Prior to his appointment at Townsend Harris, Dr. Largmann had served as English Department Chair at Tilden High School and as an English teacher at Lafayette High School, both in Brooklyn. After his retirement, Dr. Largmann enjoyed traveling and attending many Broadway shows, and kept in close touch with many of his previous colleagues and students. Dr. Largmann also remained active with the Townsend Harris Alumni Association.
He was an alumnus of Cornell University and New York University.
Published by New York Times from Jun. 10 to Jun. 11, 2021.