I began to assemble this list of renowned Irish-Americans (including Scots-Irish) to keep me on track when I research and assemble their exploits. When their exploits are posted to my blog, I'll try to strike through their name. For example: Luke Ryan’s name is first on the list because he fought for our country’s independence but never set a foot on our soil. Should viewers desire other names added, please email me their names and exploits.

Revolutionary War

Luke Ryan
Commodore John Barry
General John Sullivan
General Anthony Wayne
Captain Conynham
Edward Mccatter
General Stephen Moylan
Brigadier Richard Montgomery
Paddy Colvin / Liam McConkey
Jeremiah O’Brien

War 1812

Nicholas Gray

American Civil War

Major General Phillip Sheridan
Major Patrick Cleburne
Colonel Dennis O’Kane
Father William Corby C.C. C.
General Thomas Francis Meagher
General Stonewall Jackson
Colonel Patrick O’Rorke
General JEB Stuart
General William Mahone

Spanish American War

World War I

Father Francis Duffy

World War II

Political & US Government
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Attorney General- Senator Robert F Kennedy
Senator Edward Kennedy
Wild Bill Donovan

Philanthropists / Charities / Educators

Chuck Feeney

Industrialists /Union Organizers

John B. Kelly
Jim Larkin
Father Comey SJ

Actors, Actresses, Sports Figures & Puglists

Tommy Loughrin (Puglist)
Grace Kelly
Jack Dempsey

Views: 409

Tags: Opinion, United States

Comment by Gerry Regan on July 2, 2014 at 11:26am

Jim, so many are highlighted in our pages, a nearly overwhelming task you've set out. How about Michael Corcoran for one.

Comment by Melissa Martin-Ellis on July 2, 2014 at 1:16pm

Jim, how about a category for writers and artists?

Comment by William J. Martin Jr. on July 2, 2014 at 9:53pm

Would you accept the nomination of my aunt, Rita Fitzpatrick?  Rita was the first female reporter to be promoted to the City Desk of the Chicago Tribune.  This occurred during the early to middle 1940's.

Comment by Dee Notaro on July 3, 2014 at 3:53am

Wow, I agree with Gerry Regan - monumental task. To me, technically, the Irish built, literally, the great cities of the North, fought in our Independence War and planted their children - you and I.

Comment by frank mcloughlin on July 3, 2014 at 8:28am

i think fr. duffy was born in canada and donovan had little or no interest in his irish roots.  a list like this is impossible to finish

Comment by Mary Collins Dolan on July 4, 2014 at 11:00am

A few to consider although as stated by many, an impossible task!  Best of luck.

Gene Tunney - pugilist (1940s?)

Gentleman Jim Corbett, pugilist (early 1900s?)

Bill O'Dwyer, Mayor of NYC

Paul O'Dwyer,NYC  lawyer and political activist for Irish causes in particular

George M. Cohan (?) Vaudevillian, did a lot for the war effort WWI

Comment by Jim Curley on July 8, 2014 at 2:15pm
Christy Mathewson
Joe "Iron Man" McGinnity
John "Muggsy" McGraw
Hell, any NY Giant of old. I can't understand how anyone with any Irish blood became a damnYankee fan.
Comment by James Kaye Wood on November 23, 2014 at 11:03am

My grandfather, James Keegan, whom we all called Pa, was born and raised on a small farm in Leitrim around 1880. My own given name is James Kaye, the Kaye being derived from Keegan, the ancient Irish name Mac Aodhagain. He was a skilled worker, although back then if one was not a landowner, teacher, doctor, or member of the clergy, one was classed as a laborer. There being no work available for Catholic skilled laborers at the time in the West of Ireland, he moved to Glasgow where he worked for a while until hearing that there was good work paying good wages on the construction of the Lachine Canal in Montreal. He worked there for about eight years until the conclusion of the project. At that time, Montreal was still and English city and he found himself in a situation similar to that which he had experienced in his home country so he decided to try his hand in the States. He moved to Providence, Rhode Island where, with the help of the local ward politician he was able to get a temporary job as a dispatcher with the Providence Police Department. After a year and found to be a good candidate he was appointed to a full time job with the force in 1907. 

Providence at the time was very similar to Boston in racial makeup. By dint of numbers and good organization, the Irish immigrant population from the post-famine period had risen socially and were prominent in the fields of law, medicine, teaching, trade unions, and most of all, politics. They controlled politics in all of the major city centers.

The Irish set the patterns that would be followed by future immigrant groups in the city. To call a spade a spade, many of the turn of the century immigrants took what they could find in term of work and living accommodations, settling in two main sections of the city that we would call slums today, the Wickenden Street section and the Charles Street section. These were typically three story wood tenements heated by kerosene stoves that reeked of gas stations. Large families would sometimes occupy the first and third floor of the same building.

Large scale and serious crimes were not a serious problem but there were constant incidents involving theft, break ins, fights, gambling, prostitution, speakeasies, and things of that nature that required constant policing by police officers who knew their beats and the denizens that inhabited them. The police would be dropped off at their beat and picked up at the conclusion of it unless they opted to arrange their own transportation. Every beat had one or more call boxes to permit them to call into headquarters.

Pa frequently patrolled the Wickenden Street section. At the conclusion of his beat he often stopped into the Wickenden Pub, which is still there and in full operation, for a pint or two. He often joined his fast friend, George M. Cohan, who was just starting his musical career and had not yet achieved the prominence that would later propel him from his humble beginnings in the Wickenden Street section to stardom. Sometimes while having a pint at the Pub, glancing about at the original slate floor and brick walls, I imagined myself joining the two of them in a spirited conversation that you could cut with a knife. My grandmother, Maryann Plunkett, passed away before I was born. She was a cousin of Joseph Plunkett, God rest his soul. Two of her sisters, Delia and Kate, used to regale me later with stories of the great Plunkett family when they visited of a Sunday. I loved the lilt in their voices which, together with Pa, I learned to imitate so naturally that I can slip into at will. God bless them all; the Cohans, Keegans, Plunketts, and the Irish everywhere.

James Kaye Patrick Wood

Seamas giolla Phadraig Mac Aodhagain Mac Dair


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