8. Mark David Chapman, Norman Mailer, Grover Cleveland, and James Garfield were treated at Bellevue
Bellevue Hospital has treated thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers, from celebrities to those who could barely afford treatment. Among these have been some famous and unfortunate cases involving major historical figures. One of the most famous literary references to Bellevue was in Allen Ginsberg‘s poem “Howl,” inspired by his time at the hospital. One of the most notable patients was Mark David Chapman, who received treatment after murdering John Lennon. Chapman had medical appointments at Bellevue in between his stays on Rikers Island. Another violent patient was Norman Mailer, the American novelist behind The Naked and the Dead who was treated at Bellevue after stabbing his wife. Mailer was convicted of assault for nearly fatally stabbing Adele Morales with a penknife, for which he received three years probation.
On the flip side, however, the hospital treated James Garfield after he was hit by two bullets in 1881. Garfield was shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station by Charles Guiteau, who erroneously believed he should have been rewarded with a consulship for helping Garfield win the election. Bellevue’s Frank Hamilton and his team came down to Washington to treat Garfield’s wounds, though he would die two months later from infection. Garfield was not the only president Bellevue treated; Grover Cleveland came to Bellevue after discovering a cancerous mass in his mouth amid the Panic of 1893. To avoid suspicion, Cleveland was treated on a yacht in the East River by numerous Bellevue medical faculty, which was ultimately successful after nearly two hours.