Sugarman, Catherine M., 1917-2016 Edit


Agent Type


  • 1917-07-25 – 2016-08-27 (Existence)

Name Forms

  • Sugarman, Catherine M., 1917-2016
  • Hirsch, Kaete
  • Sugarman, Katie

Related Agents


  • Biography/Historical Note

    Catherine (Katie) Sugarman, nee Katerina Marianne Hirsch (b.07/25/1917-d.08/27/2016) was the sister of Helmut (Helle) Hirsch . She was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and the second child of Marta and Siegfried Hirsch. After the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which made it illegal for Jews to attend university, the family moved to Prague. While in Prague, Helmut became involved in anti-Nazi activities. Implicated in a plot to bomb Nazi Party headquarters in Nuremberg, he was tried in a secret court and sentenced to death. Katie abandoned her medical studies, devoting herself to saving his life. Despite the efforts of Ambassador William Dodd and others, Helle was executed in June 1937, which ironically probably saved the lives of Katie and her parents, who were granted special entry to the U.S., arriving in New York in April 1938. Needing to support her heartbroken parents and establish a new life in America, Katie gave up her dream of becoming a doctor and enrolled in the Columbia-Presbyterian School of Nursing, earning BS and RN degrees in 1941. Upon graduation, she worked as a visiting nurse with the Henry Street Settlement, caring for indigent immigrant families on New York's Lower East Side. That same year, she married Dr. Norman Kelman. She served as founding president of the Karen Horney Clinic, which opened in NYC in 1955 and continues to offer low-cost psychotherapeutic services. The family moved to Westport, Connecticut, in 1956. After her divorce from Norman in 1961, Katie began a new career as a fundraiser, first with the Anti-Defamation League and then with Brandeis University, from which she retired in 1980. In 1968, she married Harry Sugarman. She participated in several philanthropic activities for such organizations as Brandeis University, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and The Israel Tennis Centers, a social service organization for children in Israel of all religions and ethnicities.