Early Life Lucy Schildkret was born on June 16, 1915, in New York City in a neighborhood settled by Jewish immigrants. Her parents, Max Schildkret and Dora Ofnaem Schildkret, had emigrated to New York from Poland, then a province within czarist Russia, sometime around 1908, when they were still in their teens. At first, they worked in the New York sweatshops. After their marriage, her parents tried their hand at several small business, but all of these endeavors failed. In 1927, they purchased a new four-family house in a developing section of the Bronx; by 1937, they were unable to make mortgage payments, and the bank foreclosed.