Famous New York Irish Americans

Nowhere was the influence Irish Americans more pronounced than in America's most powerful city, New York.  75% of the famine Irish landed in New York harbor, and by 1860 a quarter of New York City's population was Irish.

Not surprisingly, many famous Irish Americans from every walk of life have come from New York.  The following is a list of famous Irish Americans from New York.

Also See:
Al Smith
Al Smith  | Elected governor of New York three times and rose to become the Democratic Party presidential candidate in 1928, the first Catholic to ever run for president.

Alfred Thayer Mahan |  United States Navy flag officer who rose to become what some call the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century, advancing the concept that naval power leads to political power worldwide.  Many naval ships were named USS Mahan, including the lead vessel of a class of destroyers.

Art Donovan | Colorful football defensive tackle who played for the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League, along with two other teams. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.

Bill "Big Bill" Dwyer | Gangster and bootlegger during the Prohibition who used profits from his illegal enterprise to purchase the New York Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates of the National Hockey League and the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National Football League.

Bill O'Reilly | Political commentator, syndicated columnist, author and host of The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel.

Bob Costas | Sportscaster who covered numerous sporting events for the NBC network, including the National Football League, The National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the Kentucky Derby, U.S. Open Golf and the Olympics.

Bobby Flay | Celebrity chef and owner of popular restaurants around the United States.  Has hosted numerous shows for The Food Network.

Caroline Kennedy | Daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and successful author and attorney.

Carroll O'Connor
Carroll O'Connor | Actor best known for his portrayal of Archie Bunker in the 1970s CBS television sitcom All in the Family, and later starred in the long-running TV series The Heat of the Night.

Charles Dolan | Billionaire founder of Cablevision and HBO and owner of Madison Square Garden & the New York Knicks of The National Basketball Association.

Charles O'Conor | United States Attorney who ran for president in 1872.  Helped prosecute corrupt New York politician Boss Tweed.  Entombed in St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in New York.

Chris Mullin | Professional basketball player who starred at St. John's University and for the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association.  Member of 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Colin Quinn | Stand-up comedian, writer and performer who has appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan | Elected Democratic U.S. Senator from New York four times, served as Ambassador to the United Nations and to India, and was a member of the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Dennis Hart Mahan | Father of American naval historian and theorist Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.  Prominently served as professor of military theory and engineering at West Point from 1824-1871.

Edward Burns | Film actor, writer, and director best known for his performances in The Brothers McMullen (1995) and Sidewalks of New York (2001).

Frank McCourt
Fr. Francis Patrick Duffy | Catholic priest, Lieutenant Colonel and chaplain of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army who became the most highly decorated cleric in the history of the U.S. Army.  Duffy Square in Times Square, New York is named after him.

Frank McCourt | Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes and other books.

George Kennedy | Movie actor who appeared in over 200 film and television productions. Won an Academy Award for his role in Cool Hand Luke (1967).

George M Cohan | Stage and screen entertainer who composed and performed over 500 songs, including "Over There", "Give My Regards to Broadway", "The Yankee Doodle Boy", and "You're a Grand Old Flag."  His life and songs were depicted in the 1942 film, Yankee Doodle Dandy, starring James Cagney as Cohan.

George W. Keller | Architect and engineer on dozens of commercial and public buildings, bridges, houses, and monuments, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch in Hartford, Connecticut and the James A. Garfield Memorial in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gerry Cooney | Professional boxer best known for defeating ex-champion Ken Norton and for his legendary loss to champion Larry Holmes.

Henry Hill | Gangster-turned-FBI informant whose life was immortalized in the book, Wiseguy, and the 1990 Martin Scorsese film, Goodfellas, in which Hill was portrayed by Ray Liotta.

Hugh Carey | Seven-term United States Representative (1961–1974) and Governor of New York (1975–1982).

Jackie Gleason | Actor & comedian best known for his portrayal of Ralph Kramden on the hit television show, The Honeymooners.  Notable film roles include The Hustler (1961) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977).

James Cagney
James Cagney | Stage and film actor famous for his tough guy roles, although best known for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).

James Coonan | Mobster who was sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1988 for racketeering.

James Dolan | Billionaire owner of the New York Rangers & Radio City Music Hall, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation, and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden, Inc.

James L. Buckley | U.S. senator, federal judge, and President of Radio Free Europe who was the lead petitioner in a landmark Supreme Court case that successfully challenged the constitutionality of a law limiting campaign spending in Congressional races.

Jennifer Connelly | Academy Award-winning actress and model best known for her roles in Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind.

Jerry O'Connell | Film actor best known for his roles in the TV series Sliders and as a child in the film Stand by Me (1986).

Jimmy Breslin | Journalist for the New York Daily News and Newsday and author of numerous novels and feature columns.

Jimmy "The Gent" Burke | Mobster and Lucchese crime family associate who is suspected to have organized the Lufthansa heist in 1978.  Portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1990 film, Goodfellas.

Jimmy Walker | Mayor of New York City (1926–1932) before being forced to resign due to a corruption scandal involving the extortion of innocent people for bribes.

Joe Mullen | Professional ice hockey player who played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins, winning three Stanley Cups with Calgary and Pittsburgh.

John F. Kennedy Jr.
John F. Kennedy, Jr. | Magazine publisher, lawyer and son of John F. Kennedy who died in a plane crash along with his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette, on July 16, 1999.

John McEnroe | Temperamental professional tennis player who rose to a number-one world ranking and won seven Grand Slam tournaments.

John P. O'Brien | Became mayor of New York City for one year (1933) after winning a special election following the forced resignation of Jimmy Walker.

John Sweeney | President of the AFL-CIO (1995–2009).

Joseph Brennan | Early professional basketball player who led the Brooklyn Visitations to three ABL championships (1929, 1931 and 1935), coached St. Francis College in Brooklyn for 7 seasons, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Kevin Connors | Sportscaster for ESPN and former sports reporter and sports anchor for WCBS-TV in New York City.

Mad Dog Coll | 1920s mob hit-man who gained notoriety for the accidental killing of a young child during a mob kidnap attempt.

Mary Tyler Moore | Film and TV actress known for her roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Won an Academy Award for her performance in Ordinary People.

Matthew Broderick
Matthew Broderick | Stage and film actor known for his film role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and stage role in The Producers.

Mick "The Hardcore Legend" Foley | Professional wrestler and performer who worked for the WWE, WCW, ECW and TNA.

Mickey Featherstone | Gangster member of the Hell's Kitchen Westies who committed several mob killings, was convicted of murder in 1986, and became an FBI informant.

Mike Dunleavy, Sr. | Professional basketball player and head coach of multiple NBA teams.

Mychal F. Judge, OFM | Catholic priest and Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York who became the first certified fatality of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Owney Madden | Prohibition-era gangster who ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.

Patrick Fitzgerald | United States Attorney and federal prosecutor who headed the investigation of the Valerie Plame Affair, which led to the prosecution and perjury conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

Patrick McEnroe | Professional tennis player and the former captain of the United States Davis Cup team.  Won 16 professional titles including the 1989 French Open men's doubles.

Pete Hamill | Journalist, novelist, essayist, and editor-in-chief of New York Daily News & New York Post.

Regis Philbin | Media personality, actor and singer known for TV shows Live with Regis, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and America's Got Talent.

Richard Mulligan | Award-winning film and TV actor best known for his roles in Soap and Empty Nest.

Richard Riordan | Republican mayor of Los Angeles (1993-2001) and California Secretary for Education (2003–2005) who had an unsuccessful bid for Governor of California in 2002.

Roderick McMahon | Professional wrestling and boxing promoter and co-founder of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation.

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell | Film and TV actress and comedian best known for her roles in A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and The Rosie O'Donnell Show on TV.

Steven McDonald | NYPD detective-turned-public speaker who was shot and paralyzed on July 12, 1986.  Speaks about violence and forgiveness to students as well as peace initiatives in Northern Ireland.

Vincent J. McMahon, Sr. | Professional wrestling promoter best known for founding the World Wide Wrestling Federation, which became WWE.

Walter O'Malley | Owner of Major League Baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers who moved the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.  Served as Brooklyn Dodgers chief legal counsel when Jackie Robinson broke the racial color barrier in 1947.

Wellington Mara | Iconic owner of the New York Giants of the National Football League and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

William A. Donohue | President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States.

William F. Buckley Jr. | Writer and editor of the conservative magazine National Review and host of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999).

William F. Buckley, Sr. | Texas lawyer and oil baron who was expelled from Mexico during the Presidency of Alvaro Obregon due to his influence in Mexican politics. Father of magazine editor and commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., and U.S. Senator James L. Buckley.