ERVIN GAILLIARD: All-Army
Gailliard never realized one of his biggest dreams
because he was orphaned as a teenager. Having grown up in
the South Bronx, he hoped to go to college like his older
brother and sister, but it was not to be.
"He was very intelligent, and he always wanted to go
to college, but the financial situation was never right,"
said his brother, Ronald. "By the time he was college
age, our parents were dead, and he would have had to pay
for it on his own."
But Mr. Gailliard, 42, would not allow himself to be
kept down. He joined the Army, served in Germany and made
the all-Army basketball team, his brother said. After his
brother taught Mr. Gailliard chess, he soon was not only
trouncing him, but was beating computers.
When he took a job as a security guard at the World
Trade Center, he grew unhappy with the low wages and the
way he was bossed around, so he helped bring in a union,
and soon conditions were much better. He loved to listen
to soft jazz with his wife, Cynthia, and he spent hours
and hours teaching basketball and handball to his
"What impressed me most was how he always abided by
the family rules -- you never fight, you never argue with
each other," said his brother. "He was a very strong
person. No matter how tough things got, he was always
able to bounce back."