John Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America, has been named as Irish American of the Year by Irish America magazine.

Previous honorees who have accepted include President Bill Clinton, Cardinal John O’Connor, Gregory Peck and Michael Flatley.

Born into the business, Fitzpatrick took the advice of his father, the legendary hotelier Paddy Fitzpatrick, and brought the Fitzpatrick Hotels brand to New York.

By combining the lessons of Irish hospitality with a flair for American entrepreneurship, he established Fitzpatrick Hotels as the first Irish-owned hotel company to operate in the U.S.

With the phenomenal success of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group continuing to grow, Fitzpatrick represents an ideal merger of Irish and American philosophies.

He has been an outstanding supporter of Irish American organizations and a major contributor to causes in Ireland. He serves as chairman of the Hotel Association of NYC and on the board of directors at the American Ireland Fund and the US-Ireland Council.

Hotelier and humanitarian, Fitzpatrick has raised over $1 million to support charitable work in Ireland. He hosts the annual Eithne & Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Golf Tournament, the proceeds of which benefit non-profits such as the Corrymeela Community, whose mission is to foster dialogue between both sides in the North, and Barretstown, an organization dedicated to bringing joy and comfort to children with cancer and other illnesses.

Irish America founding editor Patricia Harty stated, “We are delighted that he has accepted our Irish American of the Year award for 2010.  John has exemplified all that is best in the Irish approach to business and humanitarian work.”