As we celebrate Irish heritage, we take a look into some Irish figures that have shaped the fabric of America. The Irish, who crossed through the borders of America from the 16th century to the 20th century, played an important part in changing the landscape of America through generations of countless rich endowments in literature, arts, religion, industry, organized labor, and politics amongst others. While Irish immigrant men played an important part in America’s protection by joining the US military and fighting on the frontline during the Civil War, Irish women also actively participated in mills and domestic works. Through their efforts in shaping America, they earned acceptance and defeated anti-foreign bias. It has also been said that the Irish did not evolve into America, but America evolved into the Irish to some extent.
In honor of Irish-American Heritage Month, this March here is a list of 10 of the most talented, famous, and successful Irish people who are our pride as Americans.
Charles Thomson – Revolutionary War, Designer, Politician
He was the leading man of all of the American Revolution. For 15 years he was appointed as the Continental Congress’s Secretary. He also served as chief executive many times in the American government. When John Hancock resigned, he was appointed as the President. He played a vital role in the Declaration of Independence.
Marry Harris – Labor Organizer, Orator
She worked as a dressmaker. She was a powerful speaker. She was Mother to miners. She worked as the organizer of the union of labor and miners. Because of her efforts, child labor laws were followed. She supported the cause and her speeches instilled in strikers hope.
John F. Kennedy – Politician
He was appointed as 35th president of the United States, he served as a politician. During his presidency, his main work focused on relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. He played a sensible role as President as the Cold War was at its peak during his presidency.
Kurt Cobain – Artist
He was an American singer, songwriter, and artist. In Nirvana, he worked as lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. He is considered to be the most impactful musician in alternative rock history.
Grace Kelly – Actress
She appeared in notable films. She was an American actress. Her significant roles include the High noon, High Society and To Catch a Thief. She also became Princess after she married Prince Rainier. She also established the Prince Grace Foundation to lend help to local artists.
Ted Kennedy – Lawyer
He was appointed as a U.S senator and served for 47 years. He was recognized for his oratorical ability. He had a powerful influence and served for a long period because of which he was given the title of “The Lion of the Senate”. He also passed many laws like the “Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965”.
Jimmy Fallon – Comedian
He was a famous actor, comedian, and television host. He delivered two comedy albums. He also published his books. He starred in numerous films like Taxi, Get Hard, and Fever Pitch. He also hosted television shows, one named Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show. He was the 6th permanent host of The Tonight Show
Jack Dempsey – Boxer
He was one of the most popular boxers in history. He was ranked 10th of all-time heavyweights and 7th as the Top 100 Greatest Puncher in the list of Ring Magazine. He ruled the boxing world as the heavyweight champion. He was voted as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years by the Associated Press. He also wrote a book on boxing.
Eileen Collins – Astronaut
She served as the first female commander and pilot of the Space Shuttle. She received numerous medals for contributions. She served as a military instructor and as a test pilot. She also served as an assistant professor of mathematics.
Saoirse Ronan – Actress
She is a very well-known actress who received many prestigious awards, including the Golden Globe Award. She starred in many movies like Stockholm, in the drama Brooklyn, and the play the Crucible.
Besides these 10 figures, there are many Irish-Americans who left their mark on every walk of life by playing vital roles in politics, arts, music, business, and other sectors. In fact, the Irish revolutionized America through their skills, talent, dedication, and hard work. American culture, especially, owes them a lot as they like other immigrants helped to shape it.