Search Results for 'James Michael Curley'
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When Charles Dickens first visited the United States in January 1842, the popularity of his books was such that he was mobbed by adoring crowds, feted and dined as the major celebrity that he undoubtedly was, and was guest of honour at a famous Valentine’s Ball in New York attended by 3,000 of the city’s great and good.
Annie Kelly was just 19 when all her dreams appeared to be coming true. Annie was one of 11 children living with her widowed mother at Newgrove, Mountbellew, Co Galway. Her boyfriend, William Murphy, and her brother Thomas had earlier emigrated to Boston. Annie and William were pledged to be married just as soon as Annie got the money to follow him there. Full of excitement the young woman later sailed from Liverpool on the Cunard liner the Lusitania arriving in New York on April 24 1915.
Despite all his bravura and political showmanship, his coarse humour,* a great fixer, a downright trickster and grafter, yet with a genuine kindness that endeared him to vast swathes of Boston voters, James Michael Curley’s personal life was unusually tragic. Following the death of his first wife ‘ Mae’ (nee Herlihy), he remarried a widow, Gertrude Dennis with two sons. This was on the last day of his term as Governor of Massachusetts, January 7 1937, “ to give her at least one day as first lady of the Commonwealth.” Between his two wives he had nine children; but incredibly seven of them predeceased him.
James Michael Curley - four times mayor of Boston, twice elected to the House of Representatives, one term as Governor of Massachusetts, and two terms in jail, was the son of County Galway parents who emigrated as children to the US in the 1860s. The stories told about Curley are proverbially legion. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter rarely let an Irish politician go without asking if they had any stories about James Michael Curley. (The one president who shunned anything to do with Curley, was president John F Kennedy. But more about that in a moment).