David D. Levinson



David D. Levinson, CCNY 1912, was a most visible Founder, attending the annual New York Founders Banquets and chapter installations in New York. He enjoyed particularly visiting New York area chapters to participate in the initiation Ritual which he called a "magnificent ceremony." (Obviously the Founders themselves were not initiated.) Dave Levinson was a warm and gentle man, soft spoken, dignified, principled, intensely proud of the Fraternity. So was his wife, as are his daughters today.


The 6'2" Levinson was a varsity athlete, a powerful swimmer and captain of the CCNY water polo team; the New York Times called him a "most spectacular player." He earned All-American honors in 1912 and in 1970 was named to the CCNY Athletic Hall of Fame. He won the Two Mile Ocean Swim Medal and swam the Hudson River from Manhattan to New Jersey.


A year after graduating in chemistry, he decided on the law and entered law school at Columbia University and twice again was named a water polo All-American, in 1915 and 1916. With the U.S. joined in World War I, he enlisted in the army and quickly rose to become a sergeant. His field artillery unit went to France where he distinguished himself in combat in the fiercest battles of that war. When his commanding officer was killed in action he was given unit command and awarded a battlefield commission. At war's end, discharged as a lieutenant, he stayed in France for a term studying international law at the University of Bordeaux before returning home to practice law.