A native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Raymond Farrell was born on February 6, 1903 to James and Jennie (Moran) Farrell. After he graduated from Pawtucket High School he entered Georgetown University and later its La School in Washington, D.C., where he graduated in 1931. He subsequently served as a federal investigator in a variety of assignments throughout the United States, and in 1938 and 1939 was special counsel to the joint Senate-House committee of Congress for the investigation of the Tennessee Valley Authority. He came to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1941.
Farrell went on active military duty during World War II in May 1942, and received the Bronze Star for outstanding service in Italy during the Rome-Arno campaign. He was separated from service on November 30, 1945, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Upon his return to the Immigration Service following World War II, Farrell was named Chief of Investigations at New York City. In 1948 he came to the INS Central Office in Washington, D.C., as Information Specialist and the following year was made Assistant Commissioner for Research, Education and Information. He became Assistant Commissioner for Investigations in 1952. Six years later he was promoted to Associate Commissioner in Charge of Service Operations, coordinating the functions of the investigative, enforcement, and examinations work of the Service, including its overseas offices.
Following nomination as Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization by President John F. Kennedy he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on February 5, 1962. Farrell served as INS Commissioner for eleven years and was the only commissioner to come to that post by rising through the ranks of the Service. After thirty-one years with the INS he retired on March 31, 1973 .
Raymond Farrell died in July 2000 at the advanced age of 94. He was survived by his wife Charlette.
Russell J. DeSimone with contributions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services