Walter “Doc” Hurley played basketball for Weaver High School (above). After serving with the United States Marines Corps in WWII, he returned to Weaver as an administrator.

The Man

Walter “Doc” Hurley was an educator in Hartford, CT, who transform hundreds of students lives by helping them to go to college. He was one of the most passionate voices for Hartford and its residents, respected by all, and brought positive energy to generations of residents. He truly is a Hartford legend.

When Hurley was growing up in Albany, Ga., his father, William, called him “Doc” because he wanted his son to be a doctor. Hurley didn’t become a doctor, but he helped people in other ways. After his father died when he was boy, the Hurley family moved to Hartford. After graduating from Weaver in 1941, Hurley went to Virginia State University. He served in the Marines starting in 1942, and fought in the Pacific. He later graduated from Virginia State and became a teacher and basketball coach in Portsmouth, Va. He played professional football in the 1940s with the All-American Football Conference’s Brooklyn Dodgers. He returned to Hartford in 1959, and never left. Hurley was married to his wife, Gwendolyn, for 56 years before her death in 2002. Together, they had three children.

Soon after returning to Hartford, Hurley became health-and-physical-education director at Barnard-Brown Elementary School in Hartford. Hurley was also a standout four-sport athlete at Weaver High School before returning to the school as an administrator.  He served for years as a State high school football and basketball official.

In the early 1980s, he began seeking support for modest scholarships to help high-school students pay for college; and, year after year, he gave $1,000 checks to 50 students. Later, the scholarships grew to as high as $10,000. He also helped a lot of students go to college with scholarships or by calling college administrators he knew to open up a door. Hurley’s legacy is the generations of children he helped along the way.

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