Belle was born in Port Henry, NY on February 22, 1919, on a farm in upstate New York. Her parents named her Rosalyn. At the age of six she told her parents that she wanted to change her name to “Belle” because it was so beautiful.
Belle’s family moved to Rockland County in 1925. Belle learned to read at the age of four, so when she arrived at school at the age of six, she was placed in the third grade. Belle graduated from Suffern High School and then Syracuse University. After trying her hand at teaching for a short period of time, Belle entered Fordham University Law School and, in 1940, she graduated second in her class.
Belle served as a prosecuting attorney at the Nuremberg trials, working under Telford Taylor, on the I.G. Farben Trial. It was there that she met her husband, Bill Zeck (a former NY State Supreme Court Justice). Belle and her husband had two children, Deborah Zeck Thorne and John Gustav Zeck, and four grandchildren.
Belle ran for the NYS Assembly in 1960, and served on the party’s New York platform committee four years later. She was a Trustee of the Bank of New York, an original member of the Board of Trustees at Rockland Community College, a founding member of the Antrim Players and a Democratic Party Activist.
Belle Mayer Zeck died March 18, 2006, at the age of 87 years. The members of the Rockland County Women’s Bar Association lost a friend, an inspiration and a role model.
In recognition of her life long achievements as an attorney and her dedication to the advancement of the status of women, the Rockland County Women’s Bar Association gives an award in her name.
The Belle Mayer Zeck Award has been proudly bestowed upon the following individuals whose accomplishments are an inspiration to us all.
1992 – Harriet D. Cornell
1993 – Sydell J. Green
1994 – Hon. Catherine Miklitsch
1995 – Carolyn Fish
1997 – Hon. Margaret Garvey
1998 – Ellen B. Holtzman
2000 – Hon. William Warren
2001 – Hon. Sondra M. Miller
2002 – Hon. Howard Miller
2003 – Hon. William Sherwood
2005 – Hon. Linda Christopher
2008 – Patricia Zippelli
2010 – Dr. Winsome Downie-Rainford
2011 – Hon. Ellen Jaffee
2012 – Hon. Linda S. Jamieson
2013 – Hon. Thomas P. Zugibe
2014 – Alexander Bursztein, Esq.
2014 – Susan Cooper, Esq.
2015 – Det. Lt. Mary B. Murphy
2016 – Amy Stern
2017 – Andrea F. Composto, Esq