There is no end to the areas in which committed, talented and bright Irish Americans excel. Irish America’s 26th annual Top 100 list showcases some of the most noteworthy of this year, from film producers to philanthropists, from athletes to world champion dancers. Leading the list is the 2011 Irish American of the Year Dr. John L. Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT, who has tirelessly worked to raise awareness of and commemorate Ireland’s Great Hunger. The Irish in America have seized every childhood dream and succeeded in making them a reality - just look at astronaut Cady Coleman, actress Rooney Mara, writer Dan Barry and the President of the United States Barack Obama, who just finished his first presidential visit to Ireland, which included a sentimental visit to his ancestral town of Moneygall.
The list, a prestigious tradition carried on by Irish America for 25 years, has consistently featured Irish America’s rising stars and veteran leaders.
Recently honored with the American Ireland Fund Humanitarian Award, the iconic Muhammad Ali receives recognition on the Top 100 list for a new fight he has taken on outside the ring: his struggle with Parkinson’s and his efforts to raise awareness and money to fight the disease. Ali’s great grandfather Abe Grady hailed from County Clare.
The Top 100 pays great tribute to the Irish whose talents light up the silver screen. Mark Wahlberg, producer Trish Adlesic, art director Karen O’Hara and Mickey O’Keefe who are featured on this list, worked on films nominated for Oscars this year. In television, Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Ann Curry, Regis Philbin and Kathy Griffin help lead the pack for Irish Americans.
In business, Anne Sweeney, keynote speaker at Irish America’s 2010 Business 100 Awards luncheon, leads Disney Media Networks and Bob McCann, keynote speaker at Irish America’s Wall Street 50 awards dinner, serves as CEO of UBS Wealth Management Americas.
Meanwhile, John Hartnett works to continue building bridges between Ireland and Silicon Valley.
In high school basketball, after 40 years of coaching Bob Hurley continues to lead the St. Anthony Friars to the top as the 2011 National Champions.
While we could go on, and the Top 100, sponsored by Tourism Ireland, certainly leaves no stone unturned, it’s best to see them all for yourself!
Click here to view the 2011 Top 100 Irish Americans.
Millions more Irish birth, marriage and death records free online