J. Joseph Garrahy
|J. Joseph Garrahy|
|69th Governor of Rhode Island|
January 4, 1977 – January 1, 1985
|Lieutenant||Thomas R. DiLuglio|
|Preceded by||Philip W. Noel|
|Succeeded by||Edward D. DiPrete|
|61st Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island|
Philip W. Noel
|Preceded by||Joseph O'Donnell Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Thomas R. DiLuglio|
|Member of the
Rhode Island Senate
|Born||John Joseph Garrahy
November 26, 1930
Providence, Rhode Island
|Died||January 24, 2012
West Palm Beach, Florida
|Alma mater||University at Buffalo University of Rhode Island|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1953-1955|
John Joseph Garrahy (November 26, 1930 – January 24, 2012), known to Rhode Islanders as J. Joseph Garrahy or just "Joe," was an American politician. He served as the 69th Governor of Rhode Island from 1977 to 1985.
Garrahy was born on November 26, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island. Garrahy achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on Aug. 25, 1947, at age 16. He attended La Salle Academy in Providence, and in 1952 he attended the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. In 1953, he attended the University of Rhode Island. Later that year, Garrahy joined the United States Air Force, where he served until 1955. After his military service, Garrahy married Margherite De Pietro with whom he had five children. Garrahy embarked on a business career, primarily as a salesman with the Narragansett Brewing Company.
In 1968, Garrahy was elected the 61st Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, and served in that office until 1977.
In November 1976 Garrahy was elected Governor of Rhode Island, defeating Republican James Taft in the general election. He took office in January 1977 and served as governor until 1985, after being reelected in 1978, 1980 and 1982.
The defining event of Garrahy's governorship was the Great Blizzard of 1978 when the entire state was inundated with between three and five feet of snow. Grarrahy lived in his office at the Rhode Island State House in Providence for a week until the crisis was under control. Garrahy was remembered for wearing a white turtleneck sweater under a red and black plaid flannel shirt during the crisis and became a template for public officials reacting to similar situations. Garrahy's naturally calm demeanor and pleasant personality provided comfort to many Rhode Islanders in distress during the blizzard's aftermath.
In 1980, Garrahy traveled to the Soviet Union as part of an arms control delegation. He did not seek re-election in 1984.
Although Republican candidates in Rhode Island were largely successful in the 1984 elections, Garrahy was not seen as a primary factor in their success. Despite political reform being a major campaign theme for Republicans that year, there were no scandals associated with Garrahy.
In 1988, Garrahy was named to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He had served on the board of the Providence and Worcester Railroad since 1992. He was active in the Knights of Columbus, and was also an active Rhode Island Commodore. Garrahy died in Florida on January 24, 2012. He was buried at New Saint Francis Cemetery in South Kingstown.
- "Late R.I. Gov. Garrahy getting national Eagle Scout Award". Providence Journal 14 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- "Governor Joseph Garrahy '48 Dies". La Salle Academy. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- "J. Joseph Garrahy". NNDB.
- Dee, DeQuattro (January 25, 2012). "Former Gov. Garrahy Passes Away, Remembered as a Legend". WPRO Radio (East Providence, RI).
- "Former RI Governor J. Joseph Garrahy Passes Away". ABC 6 News. January 25, 2012.
- J. Joseph Garrahy at Find a Grave
- Raimo, John. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States 1978-1983. Meckler Publishing. p. 269. ISBN 0-930466-62-4.
- Gannon, Tom (May 7, 1989). "Who's Hot and Who's not in R.I.". The Boston Globe.
Joseph O'Donnell Jr.
|Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
Thomas R. DiLuglio
Philip W. Noel
|Governor of Rhode Island
Edward D. DiPrete