Irish Americans of Cleveland

Prominent Irish Americans From Cleveland's Past

In addition to the luminaries listed below, read the Cleveland Press article, "Irish Put Emeralds in Society", to find out about "who was who" in high society among the Cleveland Irish in the 1920's and 1930's.

The Arts

Kelly, Grace Veronica (1877-1950)
Parlayed her experience as a painter to achieve a second career as art critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Anne O'Hare McCormick
Anne O'Hare McCormick

McCormick, Anne (O'Hare) (1880-1954)
The first woman on the editorial board of the New York Times and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for foreign correspondence.


John A. Coakley
John A. Coakley

Coakley, John Aloysius (1881-1950)
Manufacturer, an authority on industrial transportation and a philanthropist.

John P. Murphy
John P. Murphy

Murphy, John Patrick (1887-1969)
A lawyer and businessman whose railroad expertise led to his association with the Van Sweringens and the Higbee Company, a Van Sweringen interest.

Matthew J. O'Brien
Matthew J. O'Brien

O'Brien, Matthew J. (1894-1992)
Founded one of the first Cleveland companies to use refrigeragted trucks to transport meat and groceries.

O'Neill, Francis Joseph "Steve" (1899-1983)
Business and Cleveland Indians owner, son of Hugh O'Neill.

Riley, John Francis (1924-1992) Played a key role in the development and manufacture of superior wind velocity guages.

Sullivan, Jeremiah J. (1844-1922)
Businessman and banker.

Walsh, Edward John L. (1920-1993)
Executive director of the Foundry Educational Foundation which represented the cast metal industry at 35 leading engineering colleges nationwide.

Great Lakes Waterway

Delaney, John (Jack) F. (1913-1990)
A Cleveland policeman for 41 years, he organized the department's ports and harbor unit and wrotethe city's first Water Traffic Code.

McKay, George Perry (1838-1918)
A pioneer Great Lakes captain credited with playing a significant role in the development of theGreat Lakes merchant marine and shipping trade.


Donahue, Myron Mickey (1927-1993)
A leader of Cleveland's labor community and active in community affairs.

Edward F. Murphy
Edward F. Murphy

Murphy, Edward F. (1891-1950)
President of Teamsters Local 407 and policymaker in the Cleveland Federation of Labor.

O'Malley, Patrick (1903-1983)
Leader of the United Auto Workers and AFL-CIO.

James E. O'Meara, Jr.
James E. O'Meara, Jr.

O'Meara, James E., Jr. (1908-1988)
Earned an international reputation in education, law and labor.


Thomas A. (Aloysius) Burke
Thomas A. (Aloysius) Burke

Burke, Thomas A. (Aloysius) (1898-1971)
Cleveland law director and mayor after whom Burke Lakefront Airport was named.

Michael Aloysius Feighan
Michael Aloysius Feighan

Feighan, Michael Aloysius (1905-1992)
A 14-term Democratic congressman and the chief architect of the Federal Immigration Act of 1965.

Martin A. Foran
Martin A. Foran

Foran, Martin A. (1844-1921)
U.S. Congressman, and county prosecutor, and judge of the court of common pleas.

McCaffery, Margaret (1906-1997)
Served on Cleveland City Council through six mayoral administrations over twenty-eight years.

James J. McGinty
James J. McGinty

McGinty, James J. (1882-1937)
A councilman who represented the Haymarket district.

Mooney, Michael Patrick (1866-1936)
An attorney known as "M.P.", who served the city of Cleveland in various legal capacitiesand participated in the statewide charter movement.

Sweeney, Martin L. (1885-1960)
Congressman and politician.


Farrelly, John Patrick (1856-1921)
Fourth bishop of Cleveland.

McCarthy, Sara Varley (1891-1987)
Reporter and social welfare volunteer who helped organize the Cleveland Diocesan Council of theNational Council of Catholic Women.

James A. McFadden
James A. McFadden

McFadden, James A. (1880-1952)
Auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.

McKenney, Thomas E. (1889-1945)
Served as the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, the first Roman Catholic church in the diocese of Cleveland established for African Americans.

Moran, Rev. Francis T. (1865-1929)
Roman Catholic priest and civic leader, who was a nationally-known writer and lecturer.

Social Activists

Delaney, Ralph David (1933-1990)
A social activist who dedicated his life to serving the poor and the homeless.

Flynn, Eileen Eleanor Finlin (1915-1992)
Attorney, civic leader and social activist.

Lucia McCurdy McBride
Lucia McCurdy McBride

McBride, Lucia McCurdy (1880-1970)
Spoke and organized for suffrage for women.

O'Neill, Cordelia L. (1866-1928)
Elementary school principal in Cleveland Public Schools, who pioneered in the Americanization of immigrant children and helped organize the Western Reserve Child Welfare Council.


Carroll, Alfred D. (1913-1999)
Greater Cleveland's godfather of wrestling.

Johnny Kilbane
Johnny Kilbane

Kilbane, John Patrick "Johnny" (1889-1957)
World featherweight boxing champion.

O'Neill, Cordelia L. (1866-1928)
Elementary school principal in Cleveland Public Schools, who pioneered in the Americanization of immigrant children and helped organize the Western Reserve Child Welfare Council.

McAuley, Edward J. "Ed" (1903-1961)
Sportswriter and columnist for the Cleveland News.

Mickey McBride
Mickey McBride

McBride, Arthur B. "Mickey" (1888-1972)
Founder of the Cleveland Browns.

O'Donnell, James M. (1872-1946)
Owner of the first Cleveland franchise in what became the National Football League.