Eddie McGrath

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Eddie McGrath (born January 31, 1906,[citation needed] date of death unknown[1]) was an Irish-American gangster from New York City, who controlled the Hell's Kitchen Irish Mob and the lucrative waterfront throughout the 1940s. Originally from the notorious Gashouse District on the East Side, McGrath worked as a truck driver for Owney Madden and Bill Dwyer. He was arrested numerous times throughout the 1920s and 1930s for offenses ranging from burglary to murder.

After serving a lengthy stretch in Sing Sing, McGrath ended up as an organizer for the International Longshoremen's Association on the Hell's Kitchen waterfront. With the notorious Joseph P. Ryan in control of the ILA, McGrath became the primary muscle on the waterfront, with gangsters like John "Cockeye" Dunn (who was McGrath's brother in law) and Andrew "Squint" Sheridan as his enforcers. He became a close ally of powerful organized crime figures such as Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia, and Meyer Lansky.

Eddie McGrath was forced to abscond from New York after Dunn and Sheridan were executed for the murder of a hiring stevedore named Andy Hintz in 1949, and the investigation of waterfront criminal activity subsequently began to escalate. He was sent to Miami as an ILA organizer at the behest of Meyer Lansky, where he spent the remainder of his life.

In popular culture[edit]

The character of Johnny Friendly in On the Waterfront (1954) is loosely based on a composite of McGrath, Albert Anastasia, and an ILA organizer named Mickey Bowers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ English, T.J. The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Clark, Neil G. (2017). Dock Boss: Eddie McGrath and the West Side Waterfront. New Jersey: Barricade Books. ISBN 1569808139. 

External links[edit]