Senator John A. DeFrancisco has announced that Corporal Irving Cantor was inducted into the New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame today, May 21, 2013, posthumously.
“Irving Cantor dedicated his life to helping returning veterans find work and keeping them informed about their benefits,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “He also fought to keep the War Memorial and founded the Veteran’s Party, which is an independent political party with the goal of supporting candidates who support policies that benefit veterans.”
Corporal Irving Cantor was born in Syracuse in 1918, and he served in the 3138th Motor Messenger Signal Corps, carrying messages behind enemy lines in the European Theater of operations working directly with and for General Eisenhower.
Upon his return to Syracuse after serving his country, Corporal Cantor received a citation from President Truman commenting that he would continue to serve his community and country as he had done overseas. He fulfilled that call for service with a lifetime of commitment to veterans.
Corporal Cantor spent much of his career as a theater manager in Auburn, Baltimore, Rochester, Arizona, Ohio and New York City. In addition to his work as a theater manager, he devoted much of his life to assisting veterans.
After the Vietnam conflict Corporal Cantor developed the program, “Bet on a Vet,” to assist unemployed veterans in finding work. In one year, nearly 3,000 jobs were provided for local area veterans. For his leadership in this program, Corporal Cantor received a Congressional Commendation.
Next, he learned that there were plans to tear down the War Memorial to build a convention center. Corporal Cantor fought the demolition, and after nine years, he laid the groundwork to make the War Memorial in Onondaga County a state and national landmark.
Corporal Cantor then began the Veterans News – a free newsletter sponsored by local businesses to provide vital information on veterans’ benefits.
His most significant and lasting achievement was founding the Veteran’s Party, an independent political party, which is comprised of veterans from all eras of military service. The party endorses candidates from all levels of government who support policies that help veterans.
“Irving Cantor is very deserving of being recognized for all that he has done for the veterans in our community,” Senator DeFrancisco concluded.
The New York State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life. Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration.