Open main menu

Henry James Nowak (born February 21, 1935) is an American politician and a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York between 1975 and 1993.

Henry James Nowak
Henry Nowak.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 33rd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded byGary A. Lee
Succeeded byDistrict 33 eliminated after the 1990 Census and became part of 30th District
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 37th district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byThaddeus J. Dulski
Succeeded byDistrict 37 eliminated after the 1980 Census
Personal details
Born (1935-02-21) February 21, 1935 (age 84)
Buffalo, New York
Citizenship United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
ProfessionAttorney politician
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army

Early lifeEdit

Nowak was born in Buffalo, New York attended public elementary schools in Buffalo and graduated from Riverside High School, Buffalo, in 1953. He earned a B.A. from Canisius College, Buffalo in 1957. During his college career, he was a sensational basketball player for the Golden Griffs. When he graduated in 1957, he was Canisius College's all-time scoring leader. In three years as a starter he scored 1,449 points and averaged 18.6 points a game. Today, he still ranks first in rebounding and third in all-time scoring. Sportswriters dubbed him "Hammerin' Hank" for his tough aggressive play. He always played hard and was never shy about banging the boards for rebounds. Nowak led the Griffs to three of their four appearances in the NCAA basketball tournament. The St. Louis Hawks subsequently drafted him with the 28th pick in the 1957 NBA Draft's fourth round.

From 1957 to 1958 Nowak served in the United States Army, then earned a J.D. from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1961. He then served in the Army again from 1961 to 1962.[1]

Political careerEdit

Admitted to the New York bar in 1963, he commenced practice in Buffalo, and served as assistant district attorney of Erie County, New York in 1964. Erie County Comptroller from 1964 to 1974, he was also a delegate to the New York State Democratic convention in 1970, and to the Democratic National Convention in 1972 and 1988.[2]

Nowak was elected as a Democrat to represent the 33rd and the 37th districts of the state of New York during the Ninety-fourth and to the eight succeeding Congresses. He served from January 3, 1975 to January 3, 1993,[3] and was not a candidate for renomination in 1992 to the One Hundred Third Congress. During his entire congressional career, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Public Works and Transportation.

A resident of Buffalo, New York, Nowak has a daughter, Diane (Nowak) Kent, who is also in the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002.[4]


  1. ^ "Henry J. Nowak". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Henry J. Nowak". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Henry J. Nowak". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Henry J. Nowak". Canisius College. Retrieved 30 July 2013.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thaddeus J. Dulski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 37th congressional district

Succeeded by
District 37 eliminated after the 1980 Census
Preceded by
Gary A. Lee
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 33rd congressional district

Succeeded by
District 33 eliminated after the 1990 Census and became part of 30th District