Denis P. Gorman (1903-1963) was a civic leader devoted to providing recreational facilities for the youth of Queens. Through Gorman’s efforts, the City acquired this parkland, and today the playground honors his memory.
As well as being responsible for the construction of this playground, Gorman also helped to bring franchised bus service to Jackson Heights in 1932. He served as the Chairman of the Youth Activities Committee and built an impressive 20 Little League baseball fields in five months. He was head of the Elmjack Little League for ten years, a founding member of local youth councils, and he was affiliated with many other community organizations. Gorman also embarked on a political career when he served as the Democratic District Leader of Jackson Heights. After a lifetime spent serving his city, Gorman died in August, 1963. First named Jackson Heights Model Playground, in 1963 a local law renamed this site to honor Gorman shortly after his death.