List of Irish Americans

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This is a list of notable Irish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American-born descendants.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Irish American or must have references showing they are Irish American and are notable.

List[edit]

Actors[edit]

Arts[edit]

Business[edit]

Educators[edit]

Film directors/producers[edit]

Gangsters and mobsters[edit]

Law enforcement[edit]

Law[edit]

Literature[edit]

Media/Journalists[edit]

Military[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Politicians[edit]

Presidents[edit]

At least 22 presidents of the United States have some Irish ancestral origins,[69] although the extent of this varies. For instance President Clinton claims Irish ancestry despite there being no documentation of any of his ancestors coming from Ireland, but Kennedy on the other hand have strong documented Irish origins. Also Ronald Reagan's great grandfather was an Irish Roman Catholic, and his mother had some Scots-Irish ancestry. James K. Polk also had Scots-Irish Ancestry. Only Kennedy was raised as a practicing Catholic.

Andrew Jackson (Scotch-Irish)
7th President 1829–37: : He was born in the predominantly Ulster-Scots Waxhaws area of South Carolina two years after his parents left Boneybefore, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim. A heritage centre in the village pays tribute to the legacy of 'Old Hickory', the People's President. Andrew Jackson then moved to Tennessee, where he served as Governor[70]
James Knox Polk (Scotch-Irish)
11th President, 1845–49: His ancestors were among the first Ulster-Scots settlers, emigrating from Coleraine in 1680 to become a powerful political family in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee and became its governor before winning the presidency.[71]
James Buchanan (Scotch-Irish)
15th President, 1857–61: Born in a log cabin (which has been relocated to his old school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania), 'Old Buck' cherished his origins: "My Ulster blood is a priceless heritage". The Buchanans were originally from Deroran, near Omagh in County Tyrone where the ancestral home still stands.[71]
Andrew Johnson (Scotch-Irish & English)
17th President, 1865–69: His grandfather left Mounthill, near Larne in County Antrim around 1750 and settled in North Carolina. Andrew worked there as a tailor and ran a successful business in Greeneville, Tennessee, before being elected Vice-President. He became President following Abraham Lincoln's assassination.[71]
Ulysses S. Grant (Scotch-Irish, English & Scottish)
18th President, 1869–77: The home of his maternal great-grandfather, John Simpson, at Dergenagh, County Tyrone, is the location for an exhibition on the eventful life of the victorious Civil War commander who served two terms as President. Grant visited his ancestral homeland in 1878.[72]
Chester A. Arthur (Scotch-Irish & English)
21st President, 1881–85: His election was the start of a quarter-century in which the White House was occupied by men of Ulster-Scots origins. His family left Dreen, near Cullybackey, County Antrim, in 1815. There is now an interpretive centre, alongside the Arthur Ancestral Home, devoted to his life and times.[71][73][74]
Grover Cleveland (Scotch-Irish & Irish-English)
22nd and 24th President, 1885–89 and 1893–97: Born in New Jersey, he was the maternal grandson of merchant Abner Neal, who emigrated from County Antrim in the 1790s. He is the only president to have served non-consecutive terms.[71]
Benjamin Harrison (Scotch-Irish & English)
23rd President, 1889–93: His mother, Elizabeth Irwin, had Ulster-Scots roots through her two great-grandfathers, James Irwin and William McDowell. Harrison was born in Ohio and served as a brigadier general in the Union Army before embarking on a career in Indiana politics which led to the White House.[71][75]
William McKinley (Scotch-Irish & Irish)
25th President, 1897–1901: Born in Ohio, the descendant of a farmer from Conagher, near Ballymoney, County Antrim, he was proud of his ancestry and addressed one of the national Scotch-Irish congresses held in the late 19th century. His second term as president was cut short by an assassin's bullet.[71][76]
Theodore Roosevelt (Scotch-Irish, Dutch, Scotch, English & French)
26th President, 1901-09: His mother, Mittie Bulloch, had Ulster Scots ancestors who emigrated from Glenoe, County Antrim, in May 1729. Roosevelt praised "Irish Presbyterians" as "a bold and hardy race."[77] However, he is also the man who said: "But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts "native"* before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen." [78] (*Roosevelt was referring to "nativists", not American Indians, in this context)[79]
William Howard Taft (Scotch-Irish & English)
27th President 1909–13[80][81]
Woodrow Wilson (Scotch-Irish)
28th President, 1913–21: Of Ulster-Scot descent on both sides of the family, his roots were very strong and dear to him. He was grandson of a printer from Dergalt, near Strabane, County Tyrone, whose former home is open to visitors. Throughout his career he reflected on the influence of his ancestral values on his constant quest for knowledge and fulfillment.[71]
Warren G. Harding (Scotch-Irish & English)
29th President 1921–23[82]
Harry S. Truman (Scotch-Irish & German)
33rd President 1945–53[83][84]
John F. Kennedy (Irish)
35th President 1961–63, (ancestors from County Wexford),
Richard Nixon (Scotch-Irish, English & German)
37th President, 1969–74: The Nixon ancestors left Ulster in the mid-18th century; the Quaker Milhous family ties were with County Antrim and County Kildare and County Cork.[71]
Jimmy Carter (Scotch-Irish & English)
39th President 1977–1981 (County Antrim)[72]
Ronald Reagan (Scotch-Irish, Irish, English & Scottish)
40th President 1981–89: He was the great-grandson, on his father's side, of Irish migrants from County Tipperary who came to America via Canada and England in the 1940s. His mother was of Scottish and English ancestry.[85]
George H. W. Bush (Scotch-Irish, & English)
41st President 1989–93: County Wexford historians have found that his now apparent ancestor, Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke (known as Strongbow for his arrow skills) – is remembered as a desperate, land-grabbing warlord whose calamitous foreign adventure led to the suffering of generations. Shunned by Henry II, he offered his services as a mercenary in the 12th-century invasion of Wexford in exchange for power and land. When he eventually died of a festering ulcer in his foot, his enemies said it was the revenge of Irish saints whose shrines he had violated. The genetic line can also be traced to Dermot MacMurrough, the Gaelic king of Leinster reviled in history books as the man who sold Ireland by inviting Strongbow's invasion to save himself from a local feud.[86][87]
Bill Clinton (Scotch-Irish & English)
42nd President 1993–2001: He claims Irish ancestry despite there being no documentation of any of his ancestors coming from Ireland [71][88]
George W. Bush (Scotch-Irish, German & English)
43rd President 2001–09: One of his five times great-grandfathers, William Holliday, was born in Rathfriland, County Down, about 1755, and died in Kentucky about 1811–12. One of the President's seven times great-grandfathers, William Shannon, was born somewhere in County Cork about 1730, and died in Pennsylvania in 1784.[87]
Barack Obama (Kenyan American, African American, Irish American, & English American)
44th President 2009–: He is part of the "American melting pot" as his paternal ancestors came to America from Kenya and his maternal ancestors came to America from Ireland (County Offaly). His ancestors lived in New England and the South and by the 1800s most were in the Midwest. His father was Kenyan and the first of his family to leave Africa.[89][90]

Science[edit]

Thomas Patrick Coohill (Biophysicist) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Patrick_Coohill

Sports[edit]

Others[edit]

  • Billy the Kidgunslinger[95] "aka Billy Bonney, from his birth in New York's Irish slums..."
  • Molly Brown the Unsinkable Molly Brown was Born Molly Tobin (Irish born father)[96]
  • R. Nicholas Burns American Diplomat, Harvard Professor, Columnist and Lecturer. 19th Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, 17th United States Permanent Representative to NATO, served as United States Ambassador to Greece from 1997-2001.[97]
  • Eileen Collins – first female commander of a Space Shuttle[98] "The Irish American contribution to space exploration has continued in recent years with astronauts Kathryn Sullivan and Eileen Collins..."
  • John Chambers (1922–2001), Academy award-winning make-up artist [99]
  • Ann Dunham, anthropologist and mother of Barack Obama
  • John Dunlapprinter, printed the first copies of the Declaration of Independence [100] "John Dunlap, born in Ireland in 1747..."
  • Ellen Ewing Sherman – step sister and wife of William Tecumseh Sherman. Because they would have needed to buy a slave to help with the children, Mrs. Sherman refused to accompany her husband to command at the Louisiana military academy, which later became LSU. During the Civil War, she and their children took up residence at Notre Dame University, with which her family was closely affiliated.
  • David Steele Presbyterian Minister
  • John Quinlan (wrestler) Pro Wrestler
  • Ann Gloverhanged as a witch in Boston [101] "A native of Ireland, she had been sold as a slave in Barbados..."
  • Dan Harrington – world poker champion [102] "Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts of Irish descent..."
  • James Healy – Bishop of Portland, America's first African-American bishop, born a slave according to the laws of Georgia to an Irish immigrant and his beloved African wife. First graduate and valedictorian of Holy Cross College in Massachusetts.
  • Patrick Healy – President of Georgetown University, considered its second founder. Brother of James Healy. First African-American president of an American university. Priest in the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
  • Michael Healy – Captain of the Revenue Cutter Bear, defender of Alaska's native Americans, inspiration for Jack London's "The Sea Wolf," prominent figure in James Michener's "Alaska". Younger brother of James and Patrick Healy.
  • James HobanArchitect of the White House in Washington, DC [103] "Hoban studied at the Dublin Society School in Dublin before emigrating to the United States of America..."
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – former First Lady, her mother, Janet Lee Bouvier, is of mostly Irish descent
  • Mary Jemison – frontierswoman[104] "Mary Jemison was born onboard the ship Planter on the way from Ireland to America.
  • Mark Calaway – Pro wrestler with the WWE, known as the Undertaker.
  • Christa McAuliffe, a teacher-astronaut who was killed in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (also has Lebanese ancestry).
  • Paul Charles Morphy, (1837–1884) American chess player.[105]
  • John L. Sullivan – Last bare-knuckle boxing heavyweight champion of the world & first gloved heavyweight champion of the world. Also, the first American athlete to become a national celebrity and to earn over $1 million.
  • Kathleen Willey – a major figure in the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky scandals involving President Bill Clinton, her mother is of Irish descent.
  • Coco Rocha, is a Canadian model of Irish, Welsh, and Russian descent.
  • Peter Griffin, Cartoon Character. A Creation of Seth Macfarlane is "Quahog's native son, self-described Huguenot,and community activist."
  • Henry Louis Gates, professor, at Harvard University "I am descended from a white man... who slept with a black slave. And we know from the analysis of the DNA that... goes back to Ireland"[106]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] "The important thing to know about Michael Flatley is that he's Irish-American... His success comes from his ability to join unlikely elements together—Irish and Americans, step dancing and flamenco, pretension and frivolity."
  2. ^ [2] "William Harnett American, born Ireland, 1848(?)-1892"
  3. ^ [3] "Of Irish and Hungarian ancestry, Georgia O'Keeffe was born on a farm in Sun Prairie, Wis...."
  4. ^ [4] "Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1848 to an Irish mother and a French father."
  5. ^ "The most comprehensive Art Gallery in America offering Fine Art, Custom Framing, and Art Support Services. Sunflower Fine Art Gallery". Sunflowerfineart.com. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Diamond Jim Brady: Prince of the Gilded Age: H. Paul Jeffers: 9780471391029: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-09-23.  "Born in 1856 into an Irish immigrant family who ran a saloon on the Lower East Side..."
  7. ^ [5] "Ford was born on 30 July 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan, the son of Irish immigrants (of English ancestry) who fled the potato famine in the 1840s."
  8. ^ [6] "Franklin Gowen, the fifth son of an Irish immigrant, was born in Philadelphia in 1836..."
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  12. ^ [10] "grew up in the suburb Orland Park, to a Croatian-Irish family..."
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  15. ^ [12] "his father, Elias Disney, an Irish-Canadian, and his mother, Flora Call Disney, who was of German-English descent."
  16. ^ [13] "He was the youngest child of an East End family whose father ran a poulterer's and greengrocer's business and whose mother came of Irish stock. The family was Catholic."
  17. ^ [14] "In 1955, he became an American citizen."
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  19. ^ [16] "My father was born in 1884 in Toronto, Canada, of a Scottish mother... and an Irish father... In 1964 I became an Irish citizen."
  20. ^ [17] "Leo McCarey was the first son of Irish-Catholic Thomas McCarey, a well-known boxing promoter, and French-born Leona [Mistrol] McCarey, for whom he is named."
  21. ^ [18] "Moore, now 55, was raised in a working-class Irish-American family."
  22. ^ Sayles[19] "An awful lot of Americans have an Irish ancestry. Do you? Both of my parents are half Irish... it wasn't a real strong part of my upbringing. Being Catholic was but not being Irish... I just felt it would work best for my knowledge and for a general audience being set in Ireland.... Because you yourself are Irish?"
  23. ^ Oyez: William J. Brennan, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice "The second of eight children born to Irish immigrants..."
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  31. ^ [25] "His book has been criticized for its intemperate remarks about the Irish and their American great-grandchildren, but if Jimmy Breslin is not qualified to make those judgments... who is?"
  32. ^ [26] "Miss Bly was, in fact, the daughter of Irish immigrants."
  33. ^ [27] "Look, I'm half-Italian and half-Irish. I figure I was born with a temper..."
  34. ^ [28] "When he and Buchanan squared off on camera to debate the recent Pledge of Allegiance court ruling, they were just another pair of wealthy, middle-aged, white Irish Catholic men pontificating."
  35. ^ [29] "Dowd is assumed by most people to be a Democrat... in reality she was part of this kind of Irish-Catholic mafia that included Chris Matthews and Mike Kelly..."
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  38. ^ [31] "Hannity, a proclaimed devout Irish Catholic, has blamed liberals for actions taken..."
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  41. ^ Noonan[33] "I pick Dublin because I was there most recently, and also because I'm Irish-American..."
  42. ^ [34] "O'Brien, the proud Irishman, clad very casually in denims and navy blue shirt..."
  43. ^ [35] "O'Brien was named to Irish American Magazine's "Top 100 Irish Americans" on two occasions."
  44. ^ [36] "Soledad O'Brien brings her unique heritage of Latino, Irish, and African-American cultures..."
  45. ^ [37] "O’Donnell has also been named to Irish American Magazine's 2000 "Top 100 Irish Americans" list."
  46. ^ [38] "He was raised Irish-Catholic in Long Island, NY..."
  47. ^ [39] "He was the son of an English woman of aristocratic origins and an Irish-born..."
  48. ^ [40] "Part of an Irish-American Catholic family, he was the eldest son of Frank and Florence..."
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  51. ^ [42] "I thought that certainly people I grew up with in the Irish Catholic neighborhood in Buffalo would want to read it."
  52. ^ [43] "As you may recall, Ed Sullivan, whose heritage was Irish ..."
  53. ^ [44] "Born in New Jersey of a Puerto Rican father and Irish American mother, and a self-described army brat..."
  54. ^ [45] "I don't know if it comes from being Irish or Catholic or both...."
  55. ^ [46] "John Barry was born in a modest thatched cottage in 1745 at Ballysampson on Our Lady's Island, which is part of Tacumshane Parish in County Wexford, Ireland..."
  56. ^ [47] "A policeman in Ireland, Michael Corcoran became a symbol of what an Irishman – and a Fenian – could make of himself in the New World..."
  57. ^ [48] "Hickey is the son of working-class Irish immigrants..."
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  59. ^ [49] "THOMAS Francis Meagher, Irish nationalist. captain in the 69th New York State Militia at 1st Manassas, and Civil War general..."
  60. ^ [50] "MONTGOMERY, RICHARD (1736–1775), American soldier, was born in Co. Dublin, Ireland, in 1736..."
  61. ^ [51] "One of the countless young Irish Americans queuing up in front of the recruitment offices was Audie Murphy from Greenville, Texas..."
  62. ^ The Saratoga Rifleman "His parents, Irish immigrants, were Thomas and Mary (Lundy) Murphy..."
  63. ^ USS O'Brien (DD 975) "The shamrock centered at the top of the pile alludes to Jeremiah O'Brien's Irish ancestry..."
  64. ^ General John O'Neill "General John O'Neill arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1848..."
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  67. ^ [54] "John and Mary Minah Sheridan, Philip's parents, came to America in 1830 at the urging of John's uncle, Thomas Gainor, living in Albany, New York. John and Mary were second degree cousins from County Cavan, Ireland."
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  106. ^ >

External links[edit]