In 1939 at the age of 14, Paul Levi fled Nazi Germany with his father through Switzerland and Italy, booking passage on a ship to New York while his mother and sister left Germany through England, arriving in New York by passage from Canada. Reunited, the family settled in Washington Heights, New York. In 1943 during his senior year at the Machine & Metal Trades Vocational High School, Paul was granted U.S. citizenship, a War Diploma and was drafted into the Army.
After completing basic training, Paul was staged in North Africa before serving with the Replacement Infantry, F Company, 7th Regiment, 3rd Division in the Battle of Anzio. As his regiment pressed towards Rome, a fellow soldier tripped on a mine, taking injuries to his leg while Paul was injured by its shrapnel. As Paul helped his buddy limp out of the field, a war photographer captured the moment, which was broadly published in New York papers. After treatment, Paul rejoined his unit, training for the Army’s amphibious landing in Southern France where he was assigned to anti-tank mine sweeping. During battle he was injured again, evacuated to England for treatment, before returning stateside for additional surgeries. He completed his service at Fort Dix in 1945, having been decorated with two purple hearts.
After receiving his BS in mechanical engineering at NYU in 1950, Paul began a 35-year career with RCA/GE in New Jersey where he was part of the engineering design team for the radar for the lunar module for the historic first landing on the Moon. In 1954 Paul married Ruth; they raised their daughter Janice in Cherry Hill where he lived until moving to Stamford in 2013 to be close to his daughter and son-in-law Jake, grandchildren Jordan and Julie, and his sister Hildegarde.