About Harold Halvorsen
Harold Halvorsen was born in 1930 to Norwegian immigrant parents in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, NY. His family moved back to Farsund, Norway, at the start of the Great Depression. When WWII began in 1940, Norway was occupied by the German army, and all roads back to the United States were closed. As a result, he spent his formative years in Norway, and graduated valedictorian of his high school class. At his parents’ urging, he returned to Brooklyn in 1949--with only seven dollars and a relative's address in his pocket. His parents followed in 1951.
Back in the United States, Hal worked in a variety of industries, including construction, sales, and as a supermarket produce clerk. The bulk of his time was spent in the maritime industry. He served in the engine room of several ships and towing vessels, including New York Harbor and river tugs. He is a Korean War veteran and was discharged from the Marine Corps as a Corporal.
Education and Professional Work
Hal attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 1958. He enjoyed a rewarding career in the aerospace industry and worked at the Fairchild Engine Division, Dayton Brown Test Laboratories, Inc., and Grumman (now Northrop Grumman) in Bethpage, NY, from which he retired as a Manager in Systems Engineering.
Hal has produced an in-depth family history, in which he traces his roots back to 1846 in the United States and 1695 in Norway. Among other things, he learned that it has almost been a tradition for his ancestors to shuttle back and forth between Norway and the United States during the past two centuries. Included in this work is a collection of twenty stories—War and Other Life Stories—which chronicle his wartime and other early life experiences. One of these stories was published in the Viking Magazine. A second story was published in the March 11, 2011, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. Among his 'discoveries' while he was doing genealogy research was a sculptor on his paternal grandfather's side and another Harold Halvorsen who fought in the Civil War. This work resulted in an eight-book compendium.
Hal and his wife, Norita, a retired professor of nursing, are longtime Huntington, NY, residents. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren. He credits his family with encouraging his artistic pursuits. In addition to painting, he is fond of visiting his family in Maryland, Virginia, and California and enjoys traveling abroad with Norita.