Honor Roll Listing of Irish-Americans of Renown


Listing of I-A of Renown – revised 7/7/14

-Including Scot Irish-

            I began to assemble this to keep me on track as I research and assemble their exploits. Luke Ryan’s name is first on the list because he fought for our country’s independence but never set a foot on our soil. Should viewers desire other names added, send to (236sulis@gmail.com)  their names and exploits.



Revolutionary  War & Continental Congress

Luke Ryan –

Commodore John Barry

  • Father of the American Navy

General John Sullivan

General Anthony Wayne

Captain Conynham

  • Captain of the Revenge escaped from Old Mill Prison in England, made his way to Thomas Diggs, Ben Franklin’s agent in London, and from there to France. Who knew that Ben Franklin had established an underground railroad for escaped American POWs?

Edward Mccatter

  • Served in Ben Franklin’s Navy under Luke Ryan, later captained the Black Prince
  • Claimed he was from Boston but had a rich Cork accent

General Stephen Moylan

Brigadier Richard Montgomery

Paddy Colvin / Liam McConkey

  • Irish born ferrymen from Pennsylvania who rescued Washington’s Army, which was being pursued across New Jersey by Lord Cornwallis

Jeremiah O’Brien

From Neil F. Cosgrove’s “The Irish-American Signers” on The Wild Geese Blog

            Charles Carroll of Carrolton

    • Signer of the Declaration of Independence
    • Grandson of Kings County (now Offaly) immigrants
    • cousin of America’s first Catholic Bishop

Matthew Thornton

o        A volunteer army surgeon during the French and Indian War, joined the Continental Congress

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

John Hart

o        Of Irish descent, represented New Jersey

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

James Smith

o        Irish born

o        Represented Pennsylvania

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

o        Commanded a regiment of mostly Scot-Irish Pennsylvania Line

George Taylor

o        Irish born

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

o        His Durham Foundry was a major supplier of shot & shell for Washington’s Army

George Read

o        Son of Dublin born John Reed

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

o        Represented Delaware, the 1st state to ratify the Constitution

Edward Rutledge

o        Father immigrated from Ireland

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

o        Represented South Carolina

o        At age 26, was the Declaration’s youngest signer

Thomas McKean

o        Son of Irish immigrants

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence

o        A colonel in the Continental Army

o        Later became governor of Pennsylvania

Thomas Lynch Jr.

o        Grandson of Thomas Lynch of Galway who fled Ireland following the failed Irish Revolution of 1691

o        Signer of the Declaration of Independence




War 1812

Nicholas Gray


American Civil War

Major General Phillip Sheridan

Major Patrick Cleburne

Colonel Dennis O’Kane

Father William Corby C.C. C.

General Thomas Francis Meagher

General Stonewall Jackson

Colonel Patrick O’Rorke

General JEB Stuart

General William Mahone

Michael Concoran


Spanish American War


World War I

Father Francis Duffy

  • Canadian-born


World War II


Political & US Government

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Attorney General- Senator Robert F Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy

Wild Bill Donovan

Bill O’Dwyer

  • Mayor of New York City

Paul O’Dwyer


Philanthropists / Charities / Educators

Chuck Feeney

Unsinkable Molly Brown

Sister Rosenella



Industrialists /Union Organizers

John B. Kelly

Jim Larkin

Father Comey SJ

Henry Ford

John JJ Smith

  • My Uncle JJ Smith, a WWI naval veteran, was a national VP of the Government Employees Union. His picture, shaking hands with JFK, adorns the cover of Rory O’Donnell and The Kennedys because early in his career JJ brought a Marine Colonel up on charges for sexual harassment. A first for the Corps and an incident that could have cost JJ his job. However, he prevailed, protected the female, kept his job, and had the Marine officer demoted.


Actors, Actresses, Sports Figures & Puglists


Tommy Loughrin (Puglist)

Grace Kelly

Jack Dempsey

Gene Tunney

Gentleman Jim Corbett



Writers and Artists

Rita Fitzpatrick

  • In the early 1940’s, Rita was the first female promoted to the Chicago Tribune’s city desk




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