Allen, William Henry, 1784-1813 Far less known than Rhode Island’s Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Captain William Henry Allen was no less daring and courageous. He was born in Providence on October 21, 1784, the son of Sarah Jones, sister of Governor William Jones, and Major William
Father Daniel P. Reilly, 1907-1962, a native of South Providence, was ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1953. He then went on to become personal secretary to Bishop McVinney, and rose to Chancellor and then Vicar General of the Providence Diocese. On August 6, 1975, he was installed as Bishop of Norwich.
Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel, 1922-2013, truly exemplified the very best of America. Born into the well-known Jamiel family of Warren in 1922, his parents were the late Albert and Mary Jamiel. He had twelve brothers and sisters. From this humble origin in the small town of Warren, he eventually carved out a notable career as
John Nicholas Brown, 1900-1979, was a former assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, senior fellow at Brown University and a director of the Smithsonian Institution. He directed the search and recovery of the works of art stolen by the Nazis for which he was decorated by the French and Belgian governments.
John William Middendorf II of Little Compton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 22, 1924. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1945 with a bachelor’s degree in naval science after having served in World War II as an engineering officer and navigator aboard LCS 53. He then earned an A.B.
Gonzalo Edward “Ned” Buxton Jr. (1880-1949) was born in Kansas City, Mo., to Dr. G. Edward and Sarah A. Harrington Buxton. When he was a teenager, his family moved back to their Rhode Island ancestral home. Showing early signs of leadership and intelligence, Ned graduated from Worcester’s Highland Military Academy in 1898 as class valedictorian.
Everitte St. John Chaffee (1879- 1971) was born in Dutchess County, New York in 1880. Upon graduation from Yale and then from Harvard Law School, he traveled to Rhode Island in 1904, and married Carolyn Peck of Barrington in 1911. As a member of the politically connected Peck family (William Peck was GOP state chairman),
Bliss, George Newman, 1837-1928 George Newman Bliss was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island on July 22, 1837, the son of James and Sarah (Stafford) Bliss. He attended Brown University, secured a bachelor’s degree from Union College, and earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1861. Enlisting in the Civil War as a private,
Ambrose Everett Burnside was born in Liberty, Indiana on May 23, 1824, one of nine children of Irish and Scottish ancestry born to Edghill and Pamela (Brown) Burnside. His father had been a South Carolina slaveholder who moved to Indiana after freeing his slaves. Edghill Burnside became a legislator in his adopted state–a position that
Reginald A. Centracchio was born in West Warwick. He enlisted in the R.I. National Guard at 17 and graduated from Officer Candidate School five years later. He is the only adjutant general from Rhode Island to serve his entire career within the Rhode Island National Guard. During the Cold War years, he served as a
Elisha Hunt Rhodes, eldest son of ship captain Elisha Hunt Rhodes and Eliza Ann (Chace) Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet Village on March 21, 1842. This lineal descendant of Roger Williams attended schools in Cranston and Providence including Potter & Hammond’s Commercial College. His father’s death at sea when Elisha was only sixteen left him
Frank Wheaton (1833-1903) was a Providence native who distinguished himself with the United States and Mexico Boundary Commission and with the U.S. Cavalry during and after the Civil War. Born on May 8, 1833 in Providence, the son of Dr. Francis L. Wheaton and Amelia S. (Burrill) Wheaton, Frank attended public schools and studied engineering
General Harold Read started his military career in 1942 as a member of the Rhode Island State Guard. He was inducted into federal service during World War II and served in the European Theater as a member of the IX Troop Carrier Command, First Allied Airborne Army. He participated in the airborne invasions of Normandy,
Burrillville native Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted’ Carter, Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, is one of the living giants of Naval aviation history. Carter flew 125 combat missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since earning his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1982, Admiral Carter, a record-setting “Top Gun” aviator, has made 2,016
Major General Salesses, of Newport, was a retired U.S. Marine Corp Officer and accomplished Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island College. The first reservist to command a marine division, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs, and later on the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board. He was a
Herbert R. Dean, 1882-1941, spent most of his long life in the military including duty in the cavalry during World War I, service as Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard under four governors, and Director of the Selective Service Board for Rhode Island at the beginning of World War II. He was also
Admiral William Sowden Sims, 1858-1936, was two-time President of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport (1917, 1919-1922) who served as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Naval Forces in Europe during World War I. He was instrumental in bringing about drastic changes in gunnery training, and the handling of military personnel and military education.
The late John E. “Jack” Martin, formerly of Cranston, was a longtime schoolboy sports editor of the Journal-Bulletin. He was often referred to as “the father of Interscholastic Leagues in Rhode Island”, and is credited with the establishment of the Schoolboy Injury Fund and the Journal-Bulletin honor-roll for athletes. He served as Executive Secretary of
Edward Peter Gallogly enjoyed a career that saw him occupy many seats onthe public stage. He is one of the few Rhode Island citizens who served inall three branches of state government as well as an arm of the Federalgovernment. Gallogly was born in Providence on August 28, 1919 one of nine children ofLawrence and
The late George J. Peters, 1924-1945, a native of Cranston, was one of only three Rhode Islanders to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during World War II. The young U.S. Army Infantryman parachuted across the Rhine River and sacrificed his life while single-handedly destroying a German machine-gun nest to save
Hayward, John T., 1908-1999 Vice Admiral Hayward of Newport served 70 years in the U.S. Navy before retiring in 1995. As a World War II naval aviator, he helped develop one of the two atomic bombs that was dropped on Japan in the closing days of the war. Later, he was a pioneer in the
>b>Major John T. Godfrey, USAF, a Candian native raised in Woonsocket, was a highly decorated and widely recognized World War II flying ace credited with shooting down or destroying on the ground, 36 German planes. He later became prominent in public affairs as a State Senator. He also operated a successful Lace manufacturing business in
Keen, William W. (William Williams), 1837-1932 Dr. William W. Keen (1837-1932) of Swedish and Dutch extraction, was a man of stern principles and unwavering convictions and a diligent worker in the Calvinist tradition. He was born on the last day of Andrew Jackson’s tenure as president; and he died in the waning months of Herbert
Lewis, Ida, 1842-1911 Idawalley “Ida” Lewis is considered the most famous person ever to serve in the U.S. Lighthouse Service, an agency that evolved into the U. S. Coast Guard. She was born in Newport on February 25, 1842. When she was eleven years old, her father Hosea was appointed keeper of the Lime Rock
Admiral Thomas R. Weschler, USN, a native of Erie, PA, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was highly decorated as a veteran of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He retired in 1975 after 34 years of duty, and later served as the Director of the Center for Continuing Education. He
The late Vice Admiral Harold G. Bowen, USN was Providence native and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (class of 1905) and commissioned in 1907. He was a pioneer in research in the development of radar, jet propulsion rockets and numerous techniques which were directly under the supervision of the Secretary of the
Mahan, A. T. (Alfred Thayer), 1840-1914 Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), the best known and most influential naval officer of the late 19th century, ironically was born at West Point, the son of Dennis Hart Mahan, a professor of military engineering and dean of faculty at the U.S. Military Academy. Admiral Mahan was a
John Higgins, 1916-2004, was fourth place finisher in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 1936 Berlin Games. During his remarkable career, Higgins set world records and American records in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly breaststroke, the individual medley, and the medley relay. In these events he won eleven U.S. national championships. Later, he became swim coach
Judge Frank Darigan was born on September 21, 1942 to a South Providence Irish-Catholic family. He never severed his roots. Of the many Hall of Fame inductees from Providence’s South Side, Frank’s nearly six decades of volunteer social service to his neighborhood is unmatched by any of these honorees. Darigan served as a judge of
Major General John M. McGreevy served the state as a National Guard Officer, Adjutant General, and Civil Defense Director. He was project engineer at Elmsdorf Airbase and Commander of the 176th Engineer Regiment. President Kennedy invited him to meet with the National Security Council, and he was appointed as Coordinator of Emergency Services during the
Major General John W. Kiely, a former Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard. He completed his forty-eight year of military service as a highly decorated World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veteran whose awards include The Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and Bronze Star.
Commander John A. McIntyre was a former U.S. Navy flying ace in World War II and the Korean War. He held distinctions that included the Silver Star, two distinguished Flying Crosses, and four Air Medals. He was a former three-sport star athlete for LaSalle Academy, and later an All-America football player at Notre Dame. A
The late Brigadier General Chester A. Files, formerly of Barrington, RI, had a distinguished military career that spanned thirty-five years. He began in the Rhode Island National Guard as an enlisted man, and covered four different periods of conflict starting in 1916 with the Mexican Border Skirmish as a “mule skinner”, and ending as a
Lieutenant General John Phillips of East Providence and Washington, D.C., had a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, covering thirty-five years with tours of duty in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was highly-decorated with numerous awards, citations, and key leadership positions, and received the Navy Marine Corps Distinguished Service Medal, the
The late Major General Harold R. Barker whose distinguished thirty-three year military career that spanned service under the famed General John Pershing in the battle with Mexican Revolutionary leader Poncho Villa, and through both World Wars. A native Rhode Islander who settled in Pascoag during his retirement years, he was a highly decorated U.S. Army
Kenneth R. Dooley was born in Providence in 1931. He graduated from LaSalle Academy and Providence College (Class of 1959). He spent a career in publishing and film production with the media giant Prentice Hall in New Jersey as an executive vice president of the Bureau of Business Practice (1960-1977). He oversaw 600 employees and
Lieutenant General William S. Lawton, 1900-1993, was native of Newport who later lived in Bethsesda, MD. His distinguished military career spanned forty years with service in World War II and the Korean War. He was a highly decorated U.S. Army Officer, and held key staff positions throughout his career following graduation from West Point in
The late John, “Jack” McGee, 1885-1918, was a celebrated aviator whose accomplishments and bravery as a pioneering pilot at the turn of the 20th century became legend in his chosen profession. A native of Central Falls he grew up in the Blackstone Valley area and became a famous as a barn-storming test pilot who foresaw
James W. Norman of South Kingstown, was a multi-award winning Sports Information Director at the University of Rhode Island and a radio voice of the Rams for twenty-eight years. He has served as President of Word Unlimited, the Providence Gridiron Club, and the URI Ram’s Club. He is a member of the Universities Athletic Hall
Although he was born in Pawtucket, Walter Schroder, the son of German immigrants, spent his early years in Germany where he was drafted in 1944 at age fifteen to serve with an antiaircraft battery. Captured by the British in 1945, he served as a P.O.W. interpreter. Following his release, he enlisted in the U.S. Army
Commodore Matthew Cabraith Perry, 1794-1858, was a career naval officer and the younger brother of Oliver Hazard Perry. He commanded the American naval forces in the siege and capture of Vera Cruz during the Mexican War. He was also a strong proponent of naval education and training programs and a technological innovator who was sometimes
Robert Emmett Quinn, 1884-1975, a prominent Democratic politician who served successively as state senator, lieutenant governor, governor, associate Justice of the Superior Court, and Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Quinn was the principle architect of the Bloodless Revolution of 1935 and a major protagonist in the Race Track War of 1937.
George Sutcliffe was a WWII flying ace whose heroic exploits as a fighter pilot have been chronicled in several books, as he flew eighty missions as a highly decorated war hero. He was Founder and owner of a very successful and nationally recognized insurance firm in Smithfeild, RI, was active in the Big Brothers Association,
Nathanael Greene was born in the Potowomut section of the town of Warwick on July 27, 1742 (or August 7, according to the New Style Julian calendar adopted in England and the American colonies in 1752). His father, for whom he was named, was a farmer and an iron maker whose second wife, Mary Mott,
Low, Andrew S. (Andrew Stevenson), 1917- Major General Low was a former U.S. Airforce Director of Aerospace Programs and highly decorated World War II pilot. General Low was born in Westerly, R.I., in 1917, and completed public school there. He attended Rhode Island College of Education for three years. He began his military career in
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, 1785-1819, naval hero of the famous Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. On September 10, 1813, his ten-ship squadron defeated a comparable British force, thereby giving America control of that strategic waterway, a feat that made Perry a national hero. His terse note to General William Henry Harrison
Eugene Buonaccorsi was sports editor of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, spending forty-six years in sports journalism. He began his career as a Journal schoolboy reporter and copy editor, and was named assistant sports editor in 1946, after serving as a U.S. Army Airborne test glider Captain in WWII. He retired in 1984 after assembling one of
John E. Moran, 1913-1997, served as President and Co-founder of McLaughin & Moran Distributors, which was a recognized leader in its’ field for over fifty years. An outstanding all-state athlete out of LaSalle Academy, he starred for Manhattan College in football and baseball. For the next fifty years, with time out for U.S. Naval service,
Major General Zenas Randall Bliss was born in the Johnston village of Simmonsville on April 17, 1835. He passed a comfortable youth in a middle class family until he won a direct appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1850, at the age of fifteen. At West Point Bliss graduated near the bottom of
John C.A. Watkins, 1912-2000, was Publisher and Chairman of the Board of the Providence Journal-Bulletin beginning in 1974. His journalistic career began in Dayton, Ohio, in 1934, and he came to these newspapers in 1945 as assistant to the publisher. Throughout his leadership and direction, Rhode island’s major news sources became considered among the finest
George Bancroft, 1800-1891, was an American historian and Statesman who became a citizen of Newport with his home the famed “Rosecliff” mansion, named after the American Beauty Rose that he and a colleague developed. Over forty years, he wrote nine volumes of The History of the United States, and was credited with the existence of
General John Bruce Blount was a career U.S. Army Officer who, according to available records, was the only native-born, three-star general in Rhode Island history. Known by his middle name, Bruce, he was raised in Kingston, RI, and was a 1950 graduate of RI State College (now URI), where he excelled in both baseball and
Bernard Mondor, 1925-2010, was a Canadian-born business man who became one of R.I.’s most outstanding sports promoters as owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox Baseball Team, which was recognized as the strongest franchise in the International League. He entered the business world after service in the Navy, acquiring seven corporations with sales over $13 million.
Samuel Pomeroy Colt, a brother of U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt, shared his sibling’s impressive lineage. Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1852 as the youngest of six children, he received his early education in Hartford, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, and from Columbia Law School in 1876. Samuel (or “Pom” as
Dr. Blas Moreno, 1928-2011, became a resident of Rhode Island after emigrating from Cuba in 1954. He fashioned a distinguished career as a leading physician, community leader, and philanthropist, and has been at the forefront of developing medical care programs for the National Guard of the United States, serving as the State Air Surgeon for
Most inductees to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame are chosen because of their impact upon their state, or even the nation. Some, however, have such a pervasive and beneficial impact on their community or region that their life and work demand induction. Carlton Brownell is such a person. His impact upon Little Compton
Albert Tavani was a Director of Division of Airports of the State Department of Transportation. He retired in 1977, after serving as a fighter pilot in World War II and as state aeronautics chief for thirty-one years. He was instrumental in the upgrading of Greene airport into a prime regional terminal and the establishment of
Major General Leonard Holland served as the Adjutant General of Rhode Island from 1961 to 1983. Enlisting in the army on April 16, 1941, he fought in the North Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaigns during World War II. Commissioned a second lieutenant, Infantry on August 6, 1942, he was promoted to major on February
Senator Claiborne Pell, 1918-2009, became a Senior U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. He served in the Diplomatic Service for eight years after duty in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. Senator Pell created a college grant program and wrote the legislation that established the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment
Growing up, he just wanted to become a drummer. However, a new journey to reclaim a post-industrial valley, reveal its history, clean up its river, and build an understanding of events that changed the course of America was about to unfold. Bob built an organization and organized communities to bring back the Blackstone Valley from
William Barton (1748–1831), of Warren and Providence, was a Revolutionary army colonel whose most notable exploit was leading a daring raid in July 1777 to seize General Richard Prescott, the commander of the British forces occupying Aquidneck Island. Born in the town of Warren, the son of Benjamin and Lydia Barton, William Barton received a
Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton), 1850-1921 Francis Vinton Greene, son of General George Sears Greene and Martha Dana, was born in Providence on June 27, 1850. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1866, and graduated first in his class in 1870. He married Belle Eugenie Chevallie in 1879 and they had six children. He was descended
Christopher Greene, 1737-1781, of Warwick, was a Revolutionary War hero and Colonel of the famous “Black Regiment.” Greene, a veteran of many campaigns starting with the ill-fated march to Quebec in 1775, met death in a Tory ambush in May of 1781. Lincoln, James Sullivan, “Col. Christopher Greene,” John Hay Library, Brown University, 1863. Brown
John F. McBumey, Jr., a member of Americas “Greatest Generation,” compiled a remarkable career as a highly- decorated war hero, collegiate and professional baseball star, teacher, influential state senator from Pawtucket, and prominent trial attorney. John was born in Pawtucket in 1925 and raised in nearby Attleboro. After his graduation from Attleboro High School in
Joseph Cannon was born in Providence in 1911, the son of General Francis Cannon and Mary (Milligan) Cannon. He attended Technical High School and graduated from Brown University in 1932. He chose a career in medicine, and in 1936 he earned his degree cum laude from Tufts Medical School. Dr. Cannon then joined the Army Medical Corps, served his internship
Bartlett S. Dunbar, who grew up on Cape Cod, is presi- dent and founder of Bowens Wharf Company, the first historic urban waterfront rehabilitation in New England. The Bowens Wharf revitalization that began in 1969, two years after Bart arrived on Aquidneck Island, provided the catalyst for rebuild- ing the Newport waterfront. Bowens Wharf is
Colonel Stephen Olney, 1756-1832, of North Providence, was a leader of the Second Rhode Island Regiment attaining the rank of Colonel. He fought in numerous campaigns from Bunker Hill to Yorktown. Olney is credited with saving the life of future President James Monroe at the Battle of Princeton, and he was a close and respected
The late Roger Wheeler was State Recreational Supervisor and Director of Water Safety for more than 20 years. During World War II he designed a life jacket that became standard Air Force equipment and received an Army Commendation for invaluable developments of air-sea rescue procedures.
Silas Talbot, 1751-1813, of Providence, was versatile and courageous military hero who distinguished himself as both an army colonel and as a highly successful naval captain and privateersman during the American Revolution. Later in life he served as a Congressman from New York and as a Commander of the frigate Constitution during the Quasi-war with
Frank Herman Alston, Jr. (1913-1978) was a noted artist, teacher and designer of many distinctive insignias, flags, badges and medals for all branches of the United States government and the Armed Forces. Alston was born on December 11, 1913 in Providence the son of Frank H., Sr. and Barbara (nee Hall) Alston. Raised in Providence
James Mitchell Varnum, 1748-1789, of Warwick was a distinguished Revolutionary War General, a founder of the Kentish Guards, and a prominent attorney who was an early expounder of the doctrine of judicial review. He died at age 41 in Marietta, Ohio while serving as one of the first judges in the Northwest Territory.
Felix De Weldon, 1907-2003, formerly of Newport and Dana Point, California, was a famed sculptor and painter whose bronze statue of the Marine Corps raising the flag of the United States on Iwo Jima during World War II was dedicated as the Marine Corps War Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. He created more than 2,000 different
Martin, Albert, 1808-1836 Captain Albert Martin (January 6, 1808 – March 6, 1836) was born in Providence, the son of prominent merchant Joseph S. Martin and his wife Abby. He received a good education, including a short stay at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). His father’s economic reverses prompted Albert, his brother, and their parents to start
Two-term governor of Rhode Island, Bruce Sundlun was a complex, forthright servant of the people. Federal prosecutor, B-17 bomber pilot, CEO of the Outlet Company, to name just a few of his many accomplishments, Governor Sundlun was the quintessential Renaissance man. Bruce Sundlun was born on January 19, 1920, the first child of Jan Zelda
Harry Kizirian, 1925 ” 2002, was the postmaster who oversaw construction of the first automated post office in the nation, which opened in Providence in 1960. Kizirian also won the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star with Combat V, two Purple Hearts, and the Rhode Island Cross as a Marine Corps Corporal in World War II.
George S. Lima, Sr., the son of immigrants from Cape Verde, spent his adolescent years in Harlem, Fall River, and Providence with his Cape Verdean family. His life changed dramatically when he enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University in 1939 on a football scholarship. It was there he also learned to pilot planes. When
Warwick-born and raised, Martha McSally is truly a renaissance woman. She is an Air Force Academy graduate who was the first American woman to fly in combat and was also the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron. No slouch at school, Martha was a Rhodes Scholarship regional finalist and a White House Fellowship