Entertainer who made over 850 recordings and appeared in over 50 films, including "Going My Way" for which he won an Oscar in 1944.
(Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby in "High Society.")
Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. Ultimately, McCarthy's tactics and his inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate.
Heavyweight champion. He was a descendant of Irish immigrants from County Kildare. He hailed from Manassa, Colo., and won the title in 1919, his nickname was the "Manassa Mauler."
Born to a pioneer family living on the Nolichucky River in east Tennessee, Crockett eventually made his home in the northwest corner of the state. A member of the Tennessee militia, Crockett's second enlistment was under Andrew Jackson at Pensacola. His political career advanced quickly; he spent several terms in Congress as a Democrat, but eventually broke with Jackson. After only one term as a Whig, he gave up on politics and reportedly said, "You can all go to Hell and I'm going to Texas." He settled in east Texas in 1835 and died when the Alamo fell a year later.
(Oil on canvas portrait of Davy Crockett)
Film and stage actress, who won an Oscar for "The Country Girl," she was also Princess Grace of Monaco. Her parents came from County Mayo.
(Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief.")
Journalist and television producer, whose Ed Sullivan Show ran for 22 years.
Editor and publisher of the largest newspaper chain in America; member of Congress.
Born in East Boston and educated at Harvard, Kennedy began his swift climb to fortune as a bank president. He quickly amassed millions in the pre-Depression stock market. After the Crash of 1929, power shifted from Wall Street to Washington, and Kennedy made himself a confidante of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt named him chairman of the newly formed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934, and in 1937, Ambassador to England. The first Irish Catholic Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Kennedy served in that role until 1940. Rumors that he favored appeasement soured his relationship with Roosevelt and dimmed his own political career. But Kennedy's ambitions never faltered. He turned his attention to his sons, three of whom became United States senators and one, the 35th President.
First female Supreme Court justice, appointed in 1981.
(Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O'Connor smiles after being presented with the Lincoln Medal by President George W. Bush during a ceremony commemorating former President Abraham Lincoln's 199th birthday in the East Room of the White House on February 10, 2008.)
Edward R. Murrow, a CBS correspondent who made his name from the front lines of World War II and from confronting Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s Red Scare, is shown during a speaking engagement in an undated black and white photo. A collection of writings, new in the public eye, firmly establish the place of a well-known Vancouver woman in the life of the world-famous radio and television journalist.
Novelist and author of, among others, "The Great Gatsby" (1925). He was born in St. Paul, Minn., the son of Mary McQuillan who was the daughter of a wealthy Irish immigrant.
Born in the Carolina hills to an immigrant farming family from Ireland, Jackson fought in the Revolution at the ripe-old age of 11. By the end of the war, he was alone, all but one member of his immediate family dead from the conflict. He decided to study law and to head farther west. By the time he was 30, he had been elected to Congress, won a seat on the supreme court of Tennessee, and set up a modest estate that would soon become a major cotton plantation. However, it was his military career that won him national recognition. During the War of 1812, Jackson's troops crushed the Creek Indians and then, at the Battle of New Orleans, the British. In 1821 he was named military governor of the Florida Territory; in 1828 he defeated John Quincy Adams to become the 7th President of the new Republic. Jackson appealed to the common man and in many ways advanced the causes of majority rule: he waged war on the Second Bank of the United States for the power that it gave to a few unelected bankers, and he sought to build a new mass political party. Yet Jackson's vision of democracy was limited: he condemned abolitionism and brutally subjugated Native Americans.
Pioneering automobile manufacturer. Son of an Irish immigrant who married during the American Civil War. Henry's father John emigrated to America after being evicted from Cork in 1847.
(Portrait of Henry Ford, ca. 1919)
Kennedy's political career began in 1946, in a run for Congress in the district where his parents had been born. The working-class community which elected him was not his; Kennedy had gone to Choate and Harvard and lived an almost aristocratic life. Yet he had a sense of history and learned quickly. His election in 1960 as the 35th President of the United States — the first Roman Catholic to hold that office — was a crowning triumph for the Irish. His great-grandfather emigrated from Co. Wexford.
(Democrat candidate John F. Kennedy speaks at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City in September 1960.)