Tag: Civic Leaders

Reverend Edward H. Flannery

Edward H. Flannery was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on August 20, 1912, to John Flannery, a police officer, and Elizabeth (Mulvey) Flannery. He attended Holy Name School and LaSalle Academy. In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at St.

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Steve Kass

Moderator, disc jockey, and radio and television personality Steve Kass has served the local broadcast industry for over fifty years. He began broadcasting as a disc jockey on WRIB in 1958 and immediately changed his name from Katz to Kass. “I changed my name when I became a rock and roll DJ on WRIB radio.

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Robert “Rocky” Kempenaar II

Robert “Rocky” Kempenaar II is a highly successful businessman in the field of commercial real estate and development specializing in the hospitality (hotels) segment of the industry throughout Middletown, Portsmouth, and Newport, as well as in other New England states. In addition to his proven busi-ness acumen, Mr. Kempenaar is a pillar of the Aquidneck

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Ojetta R. Thompson

Ojetta R. Thompson was born in Anderson, South Carolina on August 8, 1951. Her mother was a teacher, and her father was a school principal. Her hometown was Greenville, a municipality named for Rhode Island Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene who is regarded as a liberator of the South from British rule. From kindergarten through

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James R. Winoker

James Winoker, CEO of Belvoir Properties was honored at his 70th Brown University reunion where he was given the opportunity to present the diploma to his graduating grandson. Winoker’s history of accomplishments and contributions to the city of Providence is highlighted by his efforts to redevelop the Jewelry District, a project which he began over

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Barbara Papitto

Barbara A. Papitto was born in Providence on April 4, 1951, to Emile and Flora (Dandeneau) Auger. The youngest of five siblings, she grew up in the Wanskuck neighborhood of Providence with her four brothers. Her parents worked in local mills and factories, earning only minimum wage. Yet, even on the tightest budgets, her mother,

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Judge Benjamin Bourne

Benjamin Bourne (1755- 1808), a leading advocate of Rhode Island’s ratification of the federal Constitution, was born in Bristol, the son of Shearjashub and Ruth (Bosworth) Church Bourne, the product of two old-line Bristol families. His father served as chief justice of Rhode Island’s highest court from 1778 to 1781. Bourne received a bachelor’s degree

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Solomon Southwick

Except for those Revolutionary War patriots who actually faced the bayonet charges or the merciless cannon fire of the British and their mercenaries, there probably were few other Rhode Islanders who put themselves and their families at more risk than “Patriot Printer” Solomon Southwick of Newport. Editor of the weekly newspaper Newport Mercury, Southwick was

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Reverend John Callender

The Reverend John Callender (1706-1748) became the first historian of Rhode Island in 1738 when he wrote a work to commemorate the colony’s centennial. Not surprisingly, he viewed his topic through a religious prism; surprisingly, he thought the arrival of William Coddington, Anne Hutchinson, Dr. John Clarke, and other Aquidneck settlers in 1638 truly launched

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Gail Cahalan-Conley

GAIL CAHALAN – CONLEY – PHILANTHROPIST, BUSINESSWOMAN, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER Gail Cahalan-Conley was born in Central Falls on August 29, 1943, at Notre Dame Hospital. On her father’s side she was Irish and French-Canadian; on her mother’s side she was a mixture of Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian Slavic ancestry. Gail was educated in the public

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Elizabeth Morancy

Elizabeth “Liz” Morancy’s life is a blueprint of service for others. As a graduate of Salve Regina, Liz was then known as Sister Michael Mary, a Religious Sister of Mercy. She taught at St Xavier’s Academy, and then returned to Salve as a member of the political science faculty. Her love of political science stretched

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Mary Francis “Fanny” Purdy Palmer

Fanny was an author, poet, and social activist. She was born in New York City on July 11, 1839 to Henry and Mary (Sharp) Purdy. Following the death of her father when she was only seven, she grew up in upstate New York. She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Buffalo and graduated

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Sara MacCormack Algeo

Sara M. Algeo was President of the Rhode Island College Equal Suffrage League; Founder and Chair of the Rhode Island Woman Suffrage Party; Member of Rhode Island Woman Suffrage Association; Rhode Island Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee of the New England Woman Suffrage Association; Chair of the Rhode Island Woman’s Americanization Committee;

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Bertha G. Higgins

Bertha was born in Danville, VA on November 18, 1872 to Horace and Barbara Dillard. She was married twice, first to Walker Thomas in 1887, but following his death in 1897, she married Dr. William Higgins. In 1903 the couple moved to Providence, Rhode Island where Dr. Higgins practiced medicine. Bertha was an accomplished dressmaker

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Maria Kindberg

Maria Kindberg is intertwined with the woman’s suffrage movement not only in Rhode Island but nationally because of her accomplishments during the early decades of the twentieth century. Maria Albertina Kindberg was born in Ryd near the town of Skövde, Sweden on October 12, 1860; she emigrated to the United States arriving on June 25,

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Ingeborg Kindstedt

The name of Ingeborg Kinstedt is associated with the woman’s suffrage movement not only in Rhode Island but nationally because of her accomplishments during the early decades of the twentieth century. Maria Ingeborg Kindstedt was born in Glava near the town of Karlstad, Sweden, on April 8, 1865; she arrived in the United States in

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Sophia R. Little

Sophia Little was born in Newport in 1799, the daughter of Asher Robbins. Her father was a prominent Rhode Island politician who served as U.S. Attorney General for Rhode Island and then in the state legislature before serving as U.S. Senator from 1825 to 1839. Not much is known about Sophia’s early education other than

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Roberta J. Dunbar

Roberta Dunbar was born in Narragansett, Rhode Island on July 10, 1868 to John and Louisa Cartwright Dunbar. By 1870 the family was living in Providence and Roberta attended the English High school. She worked in a number of professions including dressmaker, masseuse and hairdresser but her work of note was as an activist dedicated

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George Katz

The late George Katz, formerly of East Providence, became the first Executive Director of the Big Brothers of Rhode Island, and served as Director of Development for Big Brothers of America for ten years.He traveled extensively throughout the U.S., establishing Big Brother agencies. He worked as a Community Relations Director and fund-raiser for Miriam Hospital,

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H. Cushman Anthony

J. Cushman Anthony, 1904-2000, was known as “Mr. Boy Scout” in Rhode Island. He was also known as “Gus”, as he dedicated a lifetime to the youth of our community and gave of himself in aiding the elderly. He spent fifty-three years with the Narragansett Boy Scouts Council of America, starting in 1915 as a

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William Gilbane

The Gilbane family, like the Banigans and the Hanleys, were driven from Ireland to America by the potato blight that caused Ireland’s “Great Famine.” William Gilbane, who was born in 1842, arrived in America from County Leitrim with his parents, Thomas and Bridget (O’Brien) Gilbane, in 1845, settling originally at Lime Rock in the Blackstone

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T. Dawson Brown

T. Dawson Brown was former President and Chairman of the Board at the Industrial National Bank. One of the states most active leaders in promoting brotherhood, the betterment of youth, and civic renewal. He served for many years as President of the Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts. He was also one of the pioneers in

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Colonel Christopher Greene

Christopher Greene (1737-1781) of Warwick, a direct descendant of Roger Williams and the second son of Judge Phillip and Elizabeth Wickes Greene, was one of Rhode Island’s most illustrious military figures of the American Revolution. Prior to the outbreak of war, Greene married Ann Lippitt, by whom he had nine children, and he engaged in

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Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis

The work of Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis as a women’s rights advocate, social reformer, educator, and author extended over forty years from the late 1830s to her death in 1876. She was born in Bloomfield, New York, on August 7, 1813, the daughter of Captain Ebenezer Kellogg and Polly Saxon. After the death of both

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Frederick Lippitt

Born to a life of privilege, Fred Lippitt (1917-2005) decided it was a privilege to serve others. The Lippitt family was among the first settlers of Rhode Island. In 1638, John Lippitt arrived in Providence. An ancestor, Christopher Lippitt, commanded Rhode Island troops in the Revolution. The Lippitt name also dots Rhode Island’s landscape: one

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James Joseph O’Connell M.D.

Dr. James J. O’Connell, a native of Newport and a graduate of Harvard Medical School, has truly made a difference in the world of medicine. Since 1985, when he helped found the Boston Health Care For The Homeless Program, he has worked tirelessly to bring medical care and dignity to the less fortunate. Today he

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Susan L. Farmer

Susan L. Farmer joins her forebears, Bishop Alexander Griswold and Anne Hutchinson as an inductee into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Like Hutchinson, a pioneer in many areas, including the advancement of women, Susan was a “first” as well. When elected Secretary of State in 1982, she became the first woman elected in

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Rowland Hazard

Hazard, Rowland, 1829-1898 Rowland Hazard was the son of Hall of Fame member Rowland Gibson Hazard and the father of Hall of Fame inductee Caroline Newton Hazard. Born in Newport, he moved at the age of four to his family’s mill village of Peace Dale which remained his principal residence until his death–as well as

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Charles C. Baldelli

Charles Celeste Baldelli was born on August 4, 1933 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He and his brother, Dan, were the sons of Alesandro and Marina Baldelli. True to his native city, Charlie lives in the same house in which he was born. After attending public schools in Woonsocket, Charlie served in the army during the

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Dr. Robert J. McKenna

Dr. Robert J. McKenna, 1931-2012, a native of Providence, was Mayor of the City of Newport, as well as having been a Professor of Politics and Assistant to the President of Salve Regina University. He engaged in more than three decades of public service as both a State Senator and Representative, aide to the late

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Irving J. Fain

Irving J. Fain, 1906-1970, was a philanthropist, successful businessman, and community leader whose perseverance and ideals almost single-handedly led to the establishment of a fair housing law in Rhode Island. He was raised in Lippitt Hill, now University Heights, an American landmark mixture of races and economic backgrounds he helped to create. He was a

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Gertrude Hochberg

Gertrude Hochberg was Vice-President of Bryant College and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Journalism. She was a past President of the Rhode Island Advertising Club, and a member of the Board of the National Council of Christians and Jews. She also served as Director of the Speakers Bureau for

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Carole Garnett (Wheeler)

Carole Wheeler (Garnett) was a member of the U.S. women’s swim team who competed in the 1924 Paris Games. Later she coached swimming and diving. After the death of her first husband, an army colonel, in an auto crash, Carole married Henry S. Wheeler, a mayor of Newport. As Mrs. Wheeler, she became very active

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Congressman Jonathan Hazard

Jonathan Hazard (1744-1825) was born to a Newport Quaker family in 1744. As a young man, he moved to rural Charlestown, became a small farmer, and worked as an itinerant tailor. He was passionately involved in the independence movement. During the Revolution, he served for a time as the paymaster of the Rhode Island regiment

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Congressman Thomas Davis

Thomas Davis was born in Dublin, Ireland, on December 18, 1806. He attended private schools in Ireland and migrated to America in 1817, settling in Providence. Becoming a pioneer in Rhode Island’s jewelry industry, he amassed sufficient wealth to enable him to finance a variety of political, civic, and reform endeavors. Little is known about

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William Binney

Binney, William, 1825-1909 William Binney (1825-1909), was the son of Horace Binney, a trial lawyer of national acclaim who twice declined a seat on the United States Supreme Court. His grandfather, Barnabas Binney, was a renowned surgeon, who served with distinction in the American Revolution. William Binney was born in Philadelphia and obtained bachelors and

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Randall C. “Randy” Hien

Randall C. (“Randy”) Hien, 1949-2006, became legendary in Rhode Island for his remarkable accomplishments in two fields. As one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state, he devoted himself tirelessly to Rhode Island youth sports for thirty years. During that time, he transformed his beloved Lincoln Little League All-Stars into a nationally-competitive powerhouse,

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Dr. Joseph E. Cannon

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

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Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn

Patrick Henry Quinn was born on December 16, 1869, in the Warwick mill village of Phenix, son of Peter and Margaret (Callahan) Quinn. His parents displayed their patriotism for America and its traditions by naming their son after the fiery Virginia Revolutionary War patriot famous for his defiant statement, “Give me liberty or give me

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Brigadier Gen. Herbert R. Dean

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

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Vice Admiral Thomas R. Weschler

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

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William H. Matthews

William H. Matthews was the former First Deputy City Clerk of Providence, and considered by many as the finest athlete the state has produced. “Dixie”, as he was known to all, was considered by leaders of the city’s African-American community as their “first but unofficial” City Councilman. Born in Providence, he retired after thirty-eight years

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Earl C. Whelden

Earl C. Whelden ran the Shriner’s Circus at Narragansett Park for years, the proceeds from which went to the Shriner’s Hospitals for physically handicapped children of all races and creeds. He also established the Palestine Temple Shriner’s 22-bed Hodges-Lawton unit at Rhode Island Hospital for crippled children and ran an annual Christmas party for unfortunate

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Norman Stephen Taber

Norman S. Taber is Rhode Island’s greatest home-grown track star. He was a Providence native and a dominant runner for Brown University, Class of 1913. Taber emerged as a top runner in 1910 when he finished third in the IC4A championship mile for Brown University. Missing the 1911 season, he re-emerged in 1912, finishing sixth

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Reverend Samuel Hopkins

Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803) was a Congregational theologian and reformer. He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Hopkins, a successful farmer with the financial means to send young Samuel to Yale, from which he graduated in 1741. During his senior year at Yale, then operating under Congregational auspices, Hopkins became caught up in

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George T. Downing

In Rhode Island, slavery was placed on the road to extinction on March 1, 1784, when the General Assembly passed a gradual manumission act making any Black born to a slave mother after that date free. Those who were slaves at that time had to be manumitted by their masters. Five such slaves were listed

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Senator William Bradford

William Bradford (1729-1808), born in Plympton, Massachusetts, was the great-great-grandson and namesake of the famous governor of the Plymouth Colony. Bradford studied medicine in Hingham, Massachusetts, and then opened a practice in Warren a few years after that town’s transfer from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 1747. In 1751, he married Mary LeBaron, the daughter

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Reverend John Byron Diman

Armed with his religion and dedication to “the spirit of social service,” Rev. John Byron Diman founded St. George’s Episcopal boarding school. He continued establishing two other education hubs — a vocational school in Fall River for high school “dropouts” and Portsmouth Priory School. Diman came from a line of prestigious Rhode Islanders — his

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George A. Wiley

Warwick’s George Wiley (1931-1973) compiled a record of service to his country which equals the sacrifices and service of his fellow hometowners, Nathanael and Christopher Greene. Like those men of the Revolutionary War generation, George, too, became a champion of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Whereas the Greenes took direct military action against

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Zachariah Allen

Zacharian Allen, 1795-1882, was a lawyer, inventor, and civic leader of the nineteenth century. One of his most notable inventions was the home hot-air furnace. He also originated the Providence Water Works and is credited with introducing the first vehicles to the Providence Fire Company. Allen was also instrumental in setting up the mutal fire

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Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe

Mark Antony Dewolfe Howe, 1864-1960, was born on August 23, 1864 into one of Bristol’s leading families. Mark was his father’s seventeenth of eighteen children by three wives. After his prolific father and namesake became Episcopal bishop of central Pennsylvania, Mark enrolled at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where his father was chairman of the

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Mary P. Brennan

Mary P. Brennan has been the Chief of Airport Marketing at T. F. Green State Airport. She also has been very active in public and service organizations, winning awards from the MDA and Leukemia Societies, the Papal Medal of the Cross, and Citizens and Person of the Year Awards.

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Harry McKenna

Harry McKenna, 1916-1995, was News and Public Affairs Director of WEAN radio, and as “Dean” of R.I. news correspondents he had a distinguished thirty-nine year carer as a broadcast journalist. Over nearly four decades he became a news reporting legend in Rhode island, initiating the popular, award-winning, “Radio Press Conference,” which ran continuously for thirty-six

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Leonard Woodcock

Leonard Woodcock, 1911-2001, was national President of the United Auto Workers Union. He headed a group of Americans in seeking final disposition of the Missing-In-Action servicemen who served in Vietnam. He was recognized as one of the more conservative leaders.

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Joseph Samuels

To those who grew up in Rhode Island, the Outlet Department Store was as familiar and as dominant in the downtown area as were such familiar establishments as the Albee Theater, Gibson’s, the Boston Store, Gladdings, Shepard’s, and Tilden-Thurber. When Joseph and Leon Samuels opened a small store on Westminster Street in 1894, every possible

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Reverend James Manning

Reverend James Manning (1738-1791), Baptist clergyman and founding president of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), was born in Elizabeth Township, New Jersey, to parents who were probably of Irish origin. He attended Hopewell Academy, a Baptist grammar school, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), a school that operated under Presbyterian auspices. In

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Brigadier General Elisha Hunt Rhodes

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

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Andrew J. Bell Jr.

Andrew J. Bell, Jr. was born in Providence in September 1907, the son of Andrew J. and Beatrice J. Bell. After graduating from Classical High School, Bell studied Business Administration at Bryant College and graduated from the New England Institute of Mortuary Science in Boston. In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, the

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Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer III

Haffenreffer, R.F. Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991), the eldest son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., succeeded to his father’s positions in several family ventures. Rudolph, III graduated from Dartmouth College (where he was an active alumnus) and Harvard School of Business Administration. He served as president of Narragansett Brewery and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company which the

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Kathleen S. Connell

Kathleen Sullivan Connell was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the only daughter of Lawrence and Margaret Sullivan. She attended St. Mary’s School and St. Catherine Academy, graduated magna cum laude from Salve Regina University with a BS in Nursing, and then earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Salve. Kathleen has been connected with

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Catherine O’Reilly Collette

Cathy Collette was born in North Providence, grew up in Harmony, and is a 1969 graduate of Rhode Island College. She began her illustrious career with the state Department of Elderly Affairs where she helped to organize workers and became active in her local union, an affiliate of the 1.3 million member American Federation of

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U.S. Rep. Ambrose Kennedy

Ambrose Kennedy was a rarity in early twentieth century Rhode Island politics—a devout Irish Catholic Republican politician of high standing. Kennedy was not only a five-term Republican congressman, but he was also a lawyer, an educator, an accomplished orator, speaker of the Rhode Island House, and a biographer. He became one of the most prominent

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Bernard E. Bell

Bernard E. Bell, a retired business executive who lead Hospice Care for Rhode Island. He received the “Man of the Year Award”, presented by Hospice America, and was very active in public and civic service. He served as Trustee of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Director of the Rhode Island Children’s Friend and Service,

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John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin has been widely recognized for his civic service and contributions to many causes, including disadvantaged youth, and assisting underprivileged children. He was named R.I. “Big Brother of the Year” in 1982 and a recipient of the R.I. March of Dimes Award. A prominent businessman, he retired from McLaughlin & Moran, the highly successful

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Dr. Anthony Corvese

Dr. Anthony Corvese, a veteran physician, was the first Italian-American to intern at Rhode Island Hospital. He was instrumental in organizing the first free children’s dental clinic in the state, he also established a gynecological and surgical clinic at The House of the Good Shepherd. He was also a medical pioneer in the use of

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J. Harold Williams

J. Harold Williams, a man whose name became synonymous with Boy Scouting, served as chief executive of the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts for forty-three years. He started scouting at the age of 13, became a scoutmaster at 17, and became chief executive at 21. He was a planner, lecturer, friend, and advisor to

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Captain Silas Talbot

Silas Talbot (1751-1813) was born in Dighton, Massachusetts, into a poor farm family, the son of Benjamin Talbot and Rebecca Allen. His mother died when he was four. In his early teens, Silas worked on a coasting vessel and then learned the stonemason’s craft. In 1769 or 1770, he moved to Providence to ply his

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James Sullivan Lincoln

James Sullivan Lincoln was Rhode Island’s premier portrait painter of the mid-nineteenth century and was acclaimed by his peers as the “Father of Rhode Island Art.” Unlike Rhode Island’s famed Gilbert Stuart, who was nationally recognized as the portraitist of the American founders (see appendix), Lincoln painted mainly Rhode Island places and personalities, including many

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Rev. Charles E. Millard, Jr.

The Reverend Charles E. Millard, M.D. excelled in many walks of life–as an athlete in his youth, as a noted family physician, husband, parent, author, professor of medicine, and civic leader in his prime, and as a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church after the death of his beloved wife Mildred Lowney Millard. Charles was

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George Byron Champlin

George Byron Champlin (1851-1946) was born in Providence on September 11, 1851, just after his old-line family had left their farm in southern Rhode Island to pursue new opportunities in the state’s expanding capital city. George’s father, Stanton B. Champlin, opened a produce business on Pine Street in the Downtown, but soon his interest turned

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James C. Bucklin

Records say that Providence architect James C. Bucklin was a native of Pawtucket, but in view of his family’s Rehoboth origins, the place of his birth on July 26, 1801, was probably on the east side of the Blackstone, an area not acquired by Rhode Island until 1862. His parents were James and Lorania (Pearce)

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John R. Dionne

Woonsocket-born John Dionne, is the son of the late Raymond Dionne and Elizabeth (Krawczyk) Dionne. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, but he received a GED while in the Navy from the Rhode Island Department of Education. However, John is not known for his educational

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Gertrude I. Johnson

The story of Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales and the founding of Johnson & Wales University is truly an American success story. Given the times in which they lived, and the difficulty women faced in any professional endeavor in the early twentieth century, their story is nothing short of remarkable. In 1914, Gertrude

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Maj. Gen. John W. Kiely

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.

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Bernard Mondor

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.

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Bishop Daniel Patrick Reilly

Bishop Daniel Patrick Reilly, a man of unwavering faith, dedicated his life to serving the Roman Catholic Church in various New England dioceses. Born in Providence, Rhode Island to Francis B. and Mary Ann (née Burns; some sources report O’Beirne) Reilly on May 12, 1928.  He embarked on his spiritual journey at Our Lady of Providence

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Dr. Charles V. Chapin

Dr. Charles Chapin was an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of public health and epidemiology who served as Providence’s Superintendent of Health from 1884 to 1932. His book, The Sources and Modes of Infection, published in 1910, influenced physicians and public health officials across the United States and Europe by establishing public health standards.

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Major General James Mitchell Varnum

James Mitchell Varnum (1748-1789), lawyer, Revolutionary War general, and judge, was born in Dracut, Massachusetts, the eldest son of affluent farmer Major Samuel Varnum and his second wife, Hannah Mitchell. He attended Harvard for a year, but his involvement in a student protest prompted him to enroll at Rhode Island College (Brown), where he earned

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Frances Harriet (Whipple) Green McDougall

“A Rhode Island Original” is a description used by Sarah O’Dowd to title her biography of Frances Whipple. It aptly describes one of Rhode Island’s most significant mid-nineteenth-century writers and reformers. Frances was born in Smithfield in September 1805, but the exact date is unknown. She was the eldest of the four children of George

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Merrill W. Sherman

Merrill W. Sherman, Principal of Sherman Consulting, LLC., and former president and CEO of the Bancorp Rhode Island, Inc., a publicly traded bank holding company, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bank Rhode Island. She was Rhode Island’s only female CEO of a publicly held bank and made Bank Rhode Island a premier economic force in

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Samuel Pomeroy Colt

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

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Mary C. Wheeler

Mary Colman Wheeler was an educational innovator, a visionary, an artist, and an activist for human rights. She was also the founder of the Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, on May 15, 1846, to Abiel Heywood Wheeler and Harriet Lincoln, she was the youngest of five children. Concord was,

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Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel

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

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Mary T. Wales

The story of Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales and the founding of Johnson & Wales University is truly an American success story. Given the times in which they lived, and the difficulty women faced in any professional endeavor in the early twentieth century, their story is nothing short of remarkable. In 1914, Gertrude

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Arthur E. Lake

For generations of Rhode Islanders, Art Lake was the man who greeted them every morning. Lake was featured on WJAR for over sixty years, first as a radio host in 1944, then as an inaugural broadcaster for Channel 10 in 1949. A native of Braintree, Mass., he has lived in Greenville for many years. Art’s

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Michael Pappas

Michael Pappas was an Executive Vice President for the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, for which he served in various capacities for more than forty years. He was also a sportscaster for several RI radio stations, a prominent public relations advocate for many area sports events, and a public address announcer for professional hockey and

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Thomas Carney

Thomas Carney, 1927-2016, was the legendary hero of the highways known as “Blue Max”. He is credited with saving countless lives and helping hundreds of accident victims in his 28 years as a big rig, nationwide truckdriver. He has been called “the truckdriver’s greatest hero”. After retiring and living in Seekonk, MA, he was honored

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Manuel Gorriaran

Manuel Gorriaran, 1938-2012, was a sportsman, philanthropist, industrialist, and a Pan-American-World Olympic Wrestling Team manager. He was a member of the Helms Hall of Fame, won the International Amateur Wrestling Federation’s highest award and was Chairman of People to People Rhode Island. ce President, President and then Chairman of Hook-Fast Specialties, Inc., a family-owned jewelry

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Governor Robert Emmet Quinn

Robert E. Quinn was born on April. 2, 1894, in Phoenix, Rhode Island, son of Charles Quinn and Mary Ann (McCabe) Quinn. Named for the noble Irish patriot, Robert Quinn led the political transformation of Rhode Island from Republican to Democratic during the turbulent 1920s and 1930s. As a young boy, Quinn went to St.

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Louis A. Cimini

Louis A. Cimini, a former resident of North Providence, legendary La Salle Academy coach and teacher, he also served as a football and baseball official as well as the Director of Recreation for North Providence. Cimini was an outstanding athlete in his own right and was inducted into six Halls of Fame and received a

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William T. Nicholson

Nicholson, William Thomas, 1834-1893 William T. Nicholson was the founder of the Nicholson File Company of Providence, the originator of machine-made files in America, the largest company of its kind in the world, and one of Providence’s “five industrial wonders” of the nineteenth century. Nicholson was born on March 22, 1834 in the village of

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Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

Dyer, Elisha, 1811-1890 Governor Elisha Dyer (1811-1890) and Governor Elisher Dyer, Jr. (1839-1909) traced their illustrious ancestry to William and Mary Dyer of Boston who settled Portsmouth in 1638 as exiled disciples of Anne Hutchinson. They eventually embraced Quakerism, and Mary repeatedly returned to Boston to preach the new doctrine in defiance of the Puritan

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Maud Howe Elliott

Maud Howe Elliott was an American writer, artist, political activist, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. She and her sister, Laura E. Richards, shared a Pulitzer Prize for the biography of their mother, The Life of Julia Ward Howe. Other prominent works by Maud Howe Elliott included A Newport Aquarelle (1882); Phillida (1891); Mammon (1893);

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Aram G. Garabedian

Aram G. Garabedian was born in Providence and raised by his Armenian parents. He graduated from Hope High School. After losing an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Maine, Aram decided to hitch-hike there anyway with just $35 in his possession. He convinced the University to admit him and graduated in 1957 without any

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Thomas A. Verdi

Providence Police Department Major Thomas A. Verdi has achieved a level of performance in the field of law enforcement comparable to other notable Hall of Fame members such as Colonel Walter Stone, Major Lionel Benjamin, and Chief John Partington, founder of the federal Witness Protection Program–but Tom did it, in part, as an undercover cop

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Judge Frank Caprio

Frank Caprio was a lawyer, politician, judge, and philanthropist born in Providence, Rhode Island, on Nov. 24, 1936. He served as chief judge of the municipal court of Providence, Rhode Island, and chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. His judicial work was televised on the program Caught in Providence and

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Victoria S. Lederberg

Lederberg, Victoria, — 1937- Lederberg was a psychology professor and state legislator before becoming a state Supreme Court judge in 1993. Lederberg earned her bachelors and masters at doctoral degrees Brown University. She served as Providence Municipal Court judge and was professor of psychology at Rhode Island College. She served as state representative from 1975-1983

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Dr. Lucius A. Whipple

Dr. Lucius A. Whipple was former President of the Rhode Island College of Education for twelve years, and had a distinguished thirty-seven year career in the field of education, mostly associated with the training of students and teachers. He served for four years in the Rhode Island Department of Education and another four years as

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Ambrose “Amby” Smith

Ambrose Smith, 1917-2005, was a sports editor and Vice President of the Pawtucket Valley Daily Times, for which he served for forty-two years. He was a founder and officer of both Words Unlimited and the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. He was also a past President of the Providence Gridiron Club. A native of

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William Michael Vareika

In 1987, Bill and Alison Vareika opened a public art gallery on Newport’s Bellevue Avenue Casino Historic District block after seven years as private dealers of American art operating out of their Newport carriage house home. The Newport and New England art scene has never been the same. The gallery has grown into one of

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Major General Nathanael Greene

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,

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John Carter

John Carter (1745-1814) was born in Philadelphia in 1745, the son of Elizabeth Spriggs, and John Carter, a naval officer of Irish ancestry killed in battle two months before his son’s birth. During the late 1750s, Carter was apprenticed in the print shop of Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. In 1767, Carter moved to Providence,

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Frank B. Lanning

Frank Lanning was born in 1906 at Penns Grove, New Jersey but when his father took a job as a cartoonist with the Providence Journal the family moved to Rhode Island. During his family’s stay in Rhode Island, Frank attended Cranston High School and worked part-time at the Providence Journal – a harbinger of things

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James Hanley

Hanley, James, 1841-1912 James Hanley was born in Roscommon, Ireland and came to America with his parents as a child in 1846 during the Great Famine migration. He rose from poverty to prominence as Rhode Island’s leading brewer. Hanley’s first important step into the world of business came in January 1862, at the age of

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Governor Lucius F. C. Garvin M.D.

Early in 1922, Rep. Lucius Garvin took the floor in the Rhode Island Senate to move for action on a bill to reduce the work week for children under sixteen from fifty-four to forty-four hours a week. His motion was defeated by a vote of four ayes to thirty nays. As had been the case

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Rabbi Leslie Yale Gutterman

Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman, the son of David and Winifred Gutterman, grew up in Flint, Michigan. He received a B A degree from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College. In 1970, he completed his graduate studies and was ordained a rabbi. Les Gutterman never intended to work

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Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee

Everitte St. John Chaffee is credited with developing standards of excellence for the Rhode Island State Police when he was appointed as its founding Superintendent on April 2, 1925. The appointment of Colonel Chafee as first Superintendent was not popular, but Gov. Aram J. Pothier, who selected Chaffee, and the General Assembly resisted any efforts

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Dr. John Nazarian

John Nazarian is an accomplished musician and long-time professor and President Emeritus of Rhode Island College. At the time of his retirement in 2008, he was associated with Rhode Island College for 58 continuous years as student, teacher, and administrator. Born in Pawtucket on September 6, 1932, a son of immigrants and one of eleven

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Ade Bethune

Ade Bethune, 1914-2002, of Newport, whose world-renowned expertise in liturgical architecture and iconography led her to a distinguished career as a much sought-after consultant for church planning. She held special concern for less fortunate parishes, as well as community efforts to include low-income housing, solar heating, and energy efficiency. A recipient of six Honorary Degrees

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George M. Bucklin

George Bucklin was a great benefactor to the Boy Scouts of Rhode Island, donating all of the land and buildings that became Camp Yawgoog in 1916. He was honored by having his name on the large administrative hub building for the Yawgoog Scout Reservation, the location of the Three Point Dining Hall. The Bucklin Marksmanship Medal for

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Rt. Rev. John Seville Higgins D.D.

John Seville Higgins was born in London England on April 14, 1904.He immigrated to the United States in 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1936. A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, with both baccalaureate and master’s degrees. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston Illinois where he received a bachelor’s degree in divinity.

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Samuel Slater

More than anyone, Samuel Slater pioneered the making of modern Rhode Island. This so-called Father of the Factory System was the catalyst for the economic transformation that gave Rhode Island its salient characteristic – an industrial order that dominated the state’s economy from the early nineteenth century until the dawn of the present postindustrial era.

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John Howland

Without hyperbole, John Howland can well be called “the father of free public education in Rhode Island.” He was born in Newport on October 31, 1757, the fourth of eight children in the family of Joseph and Sarah (Barber) Howland. He was the namesake and fifth-generation descendant of a Mayflower passenger who had come to

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Henry Barnard

Henry Barnard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on January 24, 1811, the son of Betsy Andrews and Chauncey Barnard, a sea captain and farmer. He graduated from Yale in 1830, taught school for a year in Pennsylvania and then returned to Connecticut to study law. Although he gained admission to the bar in 1834, he

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Bishop Matthew Harkins

Harkins, Matthew, 1845-1921 Bishop Matthew Harkins was born in Boston, the son of Patrick and Mary Margaret (Kranich) Harkins, both immigrants from Ireland. After completing studies at Boston Latin, the future bishop attended Holy Cross College for a year, and then, in 1863, went abroad to study at the English College in Douai, France. Like

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Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy

McCarthy, Patrick Joseph, 1848-1921 Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy was the only immigrant ever to serve as mayor of Providence. Born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1848, his family fled the Potato Famine in 1850 only to be quarantined on Deer Island in Boston Harbor. Both his parents died there. “PJ”, as he liked to be

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George S. Lima Sr

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

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Mayor Joseph Henry Gainer

Joseph H. Gainer was born in Providence on January 18, 1878, the son of John and Margaret (Keogh) Gainer. His parents, Irish immigrants, settled in the city’s North End and operated a grocery store on the corner of Branch and Charles Streets. Personal tragedy dogged the family in the early years. Gainer lost his father

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Major General Harold N. Read

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,

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Marion F. Avarista

Ms. Marion Avarista was founder of the Traveler’s Aid Runaway Youth Project and developer of the Travelers Aid Medical Van providing free service for the homeless in Providence. A Cranston resident, she is one of those most responsible for the growth and development of the Traveler’s Aid Society in RI and is a very active

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Edward M. Fay

Edward M. Fay spent his life in the entertainment industry as a violinist, conductor, vaudeville impresario, poet, and motion picture theater owner. He owned at least six different theaters between 1928 and 1977 and was called by The Providence Journal the “dean of Rhode Island entertainment.” He was born in South Providence to James T.

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George William Curtis

George W. Curtis, 1824-1892, was an essayist and lecturer who became editor of Harper’s magazine. A co-founder of the Republican Party, he led the movement for civic service reform.

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Rev. James MacSparran

Dr. James MacSparran (1693-1757) was born in County Derry, Ireland, of Presbyterian parents who had migrated from Scotland. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Glasgow and then studied for the Presbyterian ministry. In 1718, he came to America from his native Ireland and served for a year in Bristol as pastor of

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David A. Duffy

David A. Duffy of North Kingstown, is the retired chairman of the highly successful firm of Duffy & Shanley, a Providence based advertising, marketing and public relations firm. David Duffy worked his way up from a typicla Pawtucket Irish kid working in a bar to success as a prominent businessman and civic leader. Duffy attended

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Arnold Buffum

Arnold Buffum, hatmaker, inventor, and abolitionist, was the second son among William Buffum’s and Lydia Arnold’s eight children. He was born on December 13, 1782, and raised in a farmhouse near Smithfield’s Union Village, now part of North Smithfield. Arnold’s childhood home, called the William Buffum House for his Quaker father, who built it, still

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Lester Frank Ward

Lester F. Ward was a botanist, paleontologist, sociologist, and legendary Brown University professor who promoted the introduction of sociology courses into American higher education. He had such a powerful intellect and such wide-ranging knowledge that some contemporaries referred to him as “the American Aristotle.” Ward emphasized universal and comprehensive public schooling to provide the public

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Chief Justice John Henry Stiness

John H. Stiness was born in Providence, Rhode Island on August 8, 1840, the son of Philip Bessom Stiness and Mary (Marsh) Stiness. He was descended from English ancestors who came to this country and settled in Marblehead, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War. His father was one of the founders of the New England Screw

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Royal Little

Quality traits such as curiosity, courage, and counter-intuition have characterized key moments of Royal Little’s life. A natural inquiring mind led him to insights others missed or thought not possible, most notably his invention of the business conglomerate, Textron, a company comprised of separate, unrelated, diversified manufacturing enterprises. Dealt a harsh blow in early life

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Isabelle Florence Ahearn O’Neill

Isabelle A. O’Neill was a stage and screen actor of the silent film era, a suffragist, and the first woman elected to the Rhode Island Legislature. She also served in the state Senate and, under President Franklin Roosevelt, in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. She was born on June 8, 1880, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island,

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George L. Sisson

Born in Portsmouth, R.I. 1919, Resident of Bristol since 1963 Fall River Public Schools, Durfee High, 1938 William & Mary College, A.B., 1942 U.S. Navy, 1942-1946 Radio Station WALE, Fall River,1947-1963 – Founder/Owner WTEV-Channel 6, 1963-65 – Public Affairs/Marketing Westerly Cable Television, 1965 – Owner – Rhode Island’s first cable TV system President, Fall River/New

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Nelly Ayvasian

Mr. Nelly Ayvasian is the retired Executive Director of the International Institute of Rhode Island. Born in the Soviet Union, and severely wounded during World War II, he was imprisoned in a German labor camp before coming to live in Warwick, RI. He joined the Institute staff in 1959 and over the years helped thousands

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Angelo Zuccolo

Angelo Zuccolo (1908 – 1956) was born on November 8, 1908 in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Italian immigrants Elvezio and Maria (Fargnoli) Zuccolo. Growing up in Providence he attended the city’s public schools and joined the Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 9 at the Federal Hill House. His association with scouting would last

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Thomas W. Dorr

Thomas Wilson Dorr, 1806-1854, was known as Rhode Island’s greatest political and constitional reformer, and the principle draftsman of the People’s Constitution in 1841. He became Governor of Rhode Island in 1842 on the People’s Party ticket, and was the leader of the famous Dorr Rebellion.

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Reverend Ezra Stiles

Ezra Stiles (1727-1795) was born in North Haven, Connecticut, the son of Isaac Stiles, a Yale-educated Congregational minister, and Kezia Taylor, who died five days after his birth. Ezra entered Yale himself at age fifteen and graduated at nineteen in 1746. Three years later, he joined the ministry. As a young man, he also studied

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Mary Elizabeth Sharpe

The late Mary Elizabeth Sharpe formerly of Providence, was an entrepreneur, author, environmentalist, philanthropist, and self-taught landscape architect, whose achievements in the field of landscape design were legendary. She was instrumental in the beautification of Brown University, assisted in the creation of the Japanese Gardens at Roger Williams Park, and spearheaded the renovation of India

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Seth Luther

Of all the Rhode Island leaders profiled herein, no person’s personal life was more erratic, peripatetic or tragic than that of Seth Luther. No one traveled through America as extensively or delivered more public addresses. No one lived in a more impoverished condition or fought as hard for the working class. Luther was born in

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Joseph R. DiStefano Esq.

Cities and states do not progress and prosper randomly. To thrive, they need leaders whose creative vision is matched by the drive, energy, and diplomatic skills that can draw together diverse people and disparate factions into a common – and ultimately successful – undertaking. Such a leader is Joseph R. DiStefano. Born in Providence on

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Gov. George Herbert Utter

George Utter was a U.S. Representative and the 49th Governor of Rhode Island. He served as an aide-de-camp to Governor Augustus Bourn from 1883 to 1885, following which he won election as a state Representative, serving for four years as Speaker for a time. He was Secretary of State from 1891 to 1894 and won

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Howard G. Sutton II

Howard G. Sutton II of Portsmouth, publisher, president and chief executive officer of The Providence Journal Company, began his career at the Journal as a circulation statistician thirty-nine years ago, rising through the ranks before being named publisher, president and CEO in 1999. A Rhode Islander since the age of eight, Sutton’s record of public

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Msgr. William Michael Delaney Jr.

William Delaney was born in Providence, Rhode Island on August 10, 1903 the second of four children of William and Margaret (nee Finneran) Delaney. He grew up in South Providence graduating from the Tyler Parochial School and LaSalle Academy. Delaney then attended Georgetown University and St. Charles College, a minor seminary in Catonsville, Maryland before

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Darius L. and Lyman B. Goff

Goff, Darius L. (Darius Lee) and Goff, Lyman Bullock The Goff Brothers, formerly of Pawtucket, were the sons of the Honorable Darius Goff, and members of one of the most prominent industrialist families in New England. They were partners in D. Goff & Sons, which occupied a foremost position among regional industrial concerns. They were

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George L. Sutcliffe

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,

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Frederick R. Glassman

Frederick Glassman was a Blackstone Valley business and civic leader who has been honored many times for his community service. He was cited after World War II for his contributions as Chief of Rubber Conservation for the War Department.

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Governor, Chief Justice and Signer Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins (1707–85), statesman, pamphleteer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born on March 7, 1707, in Providence easterly of a former Indian village called Mashapaug. This site was set off from Providence in 1754, becoming part of the new town of Cranston. It was reannexed in 1868 and is located today in

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Reverend Joseph L. Lennon, O.P.

Reverend Joseph L. Lennon has been called the “ubiquitous Father Lennon,” the versatile Father Lennon, and “Mister Providence College.” Joseph Luke Lennon was a native Rhode Islander and maintained a lifelong connection with the Elmhurst section of Providence. He was born on September 21, 1919, the son of John J. Lennon and Marjorie (McCabe) Lennon.

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Michel S. Van Leesten

MICHAEL S. VAN LEESTEN, of Providence, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is the former director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence, former director of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rhode Island, former chairman of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, and

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Harriet Ware

Harriet Ware was born on July 12, 1799, in Paxton, Massachusetts, a small town just northwest of Worcester and about thirteen miles northeast of the town of Ware, settled by her ancestors. Little is known about her formative years. The brief sketch of her life by her benefactor, the Reverend Francis Wayland, president of Brown

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John J. Partington

Partington, John, 1929-2006 John Partington was born in the Valley Falls section of Cumberland, the son of the late Williard F. And Mary C. (Hogan) Partington, and he remained a lifelong Cumberland resident. From 1955 to 1967 John served as a police officer in his native town. Later, he would become its chief of police

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Sydney Richmond Burleigh

Burleigh, Sydney Richmond, 1853-1931 Sydney Richmond Burleigh, a man with roots in Little Compton, Rhode Island, studied art with Jean-Paul Laurens in Paris for two years from 1878 to 1880. Upon his return, he became one of the founders and one of the first exhibitors at the newly-formed Providence Art Club. He taught at the

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Joseph W. Walsh Esq.

Joe Walsh is a leader, a public servant, and a humanitarian with a thoughtful manner and a big heart. His passion for people, desire to serve his community, and popularity in his days in government led The Providence Sunday Journal Magazine to ask: “Doesn’t Anyone Out There Hate this Man”? (Sept. 9, 1979). The newspaper

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John P. Cronin

John P. Cronin served as Director of Recreation for the City of Providence for many years. He also made major contributions to many other Rhode Island youth programs, serving as a baseball, football, and hockey coach at La Salle Academy for 45 years.

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Sylvia K. Hassenfeld

Mrs. Hassenfeld, formerly of Providence, lived in both New York City and Palm Beach, FL. She was been widely recognized as an outstanding civic, cultural, and philanthropic leader of international communal services for more than 40 years. Mrs. Hassenfeld has been described as “one of the most significant leaders in the American Jewish community of

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Sister Eileen Murphy RSM

The late Sister Murphy was founder of the Amos House in Providence for the care of the homeless and needy of Rhode Island. A tireless worker for the cause of homeless men and women and helping to provide daily services, including food for low-income Rhode Islanders. Sister Murphy dedicated a lifetime to the teaching and

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Warren Walden

William Walden, 1907-1987, a native of Providence, was a pioneer Rhode Island radio and television sportscaster. He was also a former athlete who served for twenty years as secretary of the Tim O’Neil amateur baseball league. He was the former News Director of WJAR-TV, and a native of Providence. Walden was actively involved with many

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Lucian Sharpe

Lucien Sharpe, 1830-1899 was a business leader who was co-founder of Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Company. Cited for his efforts in seeking improved working conditions, he served as President of the Providence Journal Company for 13 years.

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Aram J. Pothier

The late Aram J. Pothier, 1854-1928, formerly of Woonsocket, who died in 1928 while serving his seventh term as governor. Among his many accomplishments were establishing the Department of the State Police and the Public Utilities Commission and starting commercial development of Narragansett Bay. A prominent banker, he was also a Mayor of Woonsocket and

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Elizabeth Buffum Chace

Elizabeth Buffum Chace, the first woman to be memorialized with a statue in the Rhode Island State House, was an antislavery activist and a pioneering advocate for women’s suffrage. The daughter of abolitionist leader Arnold Buffum, she married fellow Quaker Samuel Chace, a Fall River textile manufacturer. The Chaces had ten children; tragically the oldest

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Governor Augustus Osborn Bourn

Governor Augustus O. Bourn (1834-1925) was born in Providence in 1834 to a distinguished old-line Rhode Island family whose earliest ancestor Jared Bourn served as a Portsmouth representative to the colonial assembly in 1654-55. After graduation from Brown University in 1855, Bourn joined his father in the business of manufacturing India-rubber goods. In 1864, Bourn

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David R. Stenhouse

David R. Stenhouse’s well-rounded career includes playing high school, college, and professional sports; college coaching; business; fundraising; and community service. For his athletic attainments, he has been inducted into the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island College Halls of Fame. A native of Westerly, Dave was a star athlete at Westerly High School

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Bruce R. Lang

Bruce R. Lang is an American entrepreneur and former television executive, television and radio host and analyst, co-founder of two Rhode Island good government groups, Operation Clean Government and UsPAC (1991-1993). He currently hosts State of the State (TV show) on a part-time basis. Bruce Lang, a resident of Newport, has a B.A. from the

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James V. Healey

Jim Healey was a two-sport all-state athlete in high school and the sparkplug of a South Providence sandlot baseball team that won five age-graded championships from 1953 to 1957. He was a member of the IBAA baseball team and the 1957 state CYO champion St. Michael’s team, both of which were captained by Patrick T.

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Felix Mirando

Felix Mirando is a Povidence business and civic leader who co-founded the Imperial Knife Co., one of the largest cutlery firms in the United States. He was many times for his work in civic, charitable and religious enterprises.

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Margaret Langdon-Kelly

Mrs. Langdon-Kelly, of Little Compton, was affectionately known to all as “Poggy”. She, along with Dr. Eric Denhoff, founded Rhode Island’s famed Meeting Street School, a world renowned institution providing early education as well as medical intervention for special needs children. Her contributions to community service are legion, and at the age of 93, she

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Edwin C. Brown

Edwin Brown, 1910-2010, was one of the foremost proponents of organized labor in the State. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the RI AFL, and later was a key negotiator in the merger of the AFL with CIO. He served on the State Board of Education and later the Board of Regents for twenty-eight years, being

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William H. Edwards

William H. Edwards, 1898-1976, was head of Edwards and Angell, the prestigious Providence law firm. He was active in numerous civic groups, and focused his energy especially on the needs of minority groups and the elderly.

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Rev. Vincent C. Dore

Rev. Vincent C. Dore was born in New Haven, Connecticut on January 31, 1900, the oldest of eight children born to John and Catherine (McMahon) Dore. He attended parochial school during his grammar school years but attended public high school until his senior year when he attended Aquinas College High School and then entered the

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Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown (1733-1785), the son of Captain James Brown and Hope Power, was a noted businessman, scientist, professor, and architect, and one of the famous Brown brothers who dominated civic life in Providence during the second half of the eighteenth century. Although he was a successful merchant and the manager of his family’s spermaceti candle

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Thomas Robinson Hazard

Thomas Robinson Hazard was a South Kingstown manufacturer, agriculturalist, author and social reformer who embodied the egalitarian spirit of the pre–Civil War age of reform. Affectionately called “Shepherd Tom” because of his prize sheep herd, Hazard, born on January 3, 1797, was a seventh-generation descendant of Thomas Hazard, the progenitor of the famous Hazard clan

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Reverend Mahlon Van Horne

Reverend Mahlon Van Horne (1840-1910) had a career that ranged from minister of the Gospel at the black Union Congregational Church at Newport to minister of diplomacy as United States Consul to St. Thomas in the West Indies. He was at heart always a teacher. Bom in Princeton New Jersey in 1840, Van Horne was

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Judge Henry Marchant

Henry Marchant (1741-1796), of Newport and South Kingstown, was a well-educated intellectual and a protégé of Ezra Stiles. Marchant was born on Martha’s Vineyard, the son of Hexford Marchant, a sea captain. His mother, whose maiden name was Butler, died when he was four, shortly after the family moved to Newport. His father’s second bride

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Rev. Dr. Elisha Benjamin Andrews

Although E. Benjamin Andrews had only one eye – the result of a Civil War wound during the siege of Peterburg in August 1864 – some say he was the most visionary president of Brown University. During his nine-year tenure as the eighth chief executive of Brown, he moved it from its status of a

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Charles J. McDonald M.D.

Charles McDonald, MD, is the founding chairman of the Brown University Medical School Department of Dermatology and Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital. An internationally recognized dermatologist, Dr. McDonald has distinguished himself as a clinician, researcher, and educator and as a leader in his community and beyond. Dr. McDonald was born

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H. Philip West Jr.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Phil West graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York in 1963 as an honors major in English Literature. He entered the prestigious Union Theological Seminary from which he received a masters of divinity degree in 1967 with a year of research at Cambridge University in England, the alma

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Dr. Renato E. Leonelli

Dr. Leonelli, formerly of Providence, advanced the education of RI youth through his 39 year tenure as Professor of Physical Science and Science Education at Rhode Island College, as well as through a weekly, live, local television program entitled ‘Small Fry Science’. He also served on the Boards of numerous civic and cultural organizations and

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Dr. Eleanor M. McMahon

Dr. Eleanor McMahon, 1929-2002, was the Rhode Island Commissioner of Higher Education and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island College. A Brown University Alumni Trustee, she has been the recipient of five honorary doctoral degrees and is the author of twenty treatises on education. Beginning her distinguished career as a

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James N. Williams

James N. Williams was the first and long-time Executive Director of the Urban League of Rhode Island and participated in the triumphs in the battle for racial equality in this nation. He also was active in many civic endeavors and served as a member of the state Advisory Council on Aging and other organizations which

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Archibald & Ida Silverman

Archibald Silverman , 1880-1967, was a Providence jewelry manufacturer, and civic leader for many years; his wife, Ida Silverman was a crusader for the establishment of the State of Israel and played an important role in fund-raising for Rhode Island hospitals. The Silvermans aided in building nearly one hundred synagogues throughout the world. Archibald Silverman

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Moses Brown

Moses Brown (1738-1836), a prominent Providence merchant, reformer, and philanthropist, was one of the five Brown brothers, a group that included John, Joseph, Nicholas, and James, the eldest, a twenty-six-year-old ship captain when he died at sea in 1751. They were the children of Captain James Brown and Hope Power, the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Power,

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Wilkins Updike

Wilkins Updike, a member of the noted Updike family of North Kingstown, was the youngest of eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail Updike, and he was the father of twelve. He was born on January 8, 1784, to a paternal line originating in Prussia and including Richard Smith, the first white settler in the Narragansett

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M. Therese Antone RSM, Ed.D.

Therese Antone was born in Central Falls, the third of seven children raised by Florence Smith Antone and George Antone, a cobbler. After graduation from Cumberland High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University, a master’s from Villanova University, and a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University. She also completed the

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Dr. John William Keefe

State and national eminence in the medical profession came to Dr. John W. Keefe of Providence, Rhode Island, through his exceptional skill as a surgeon and his many notable and humane achievements in a career in which his service in his chosen profession was distinguished for nearly half a century. He was a founder of

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Caroline Hazard

Caroline Hazard, educator, philanthropist, artist, and author was born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, on June 10, 1856. She was the second of five children of industrialist Rowland Hazard II and Margaret A. (Rood) Hazard of Peace Dale. Caroline grew up with all the privileges her prominent family could afford – private tutors, European vacations,

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John M. Sapinsley

John M. Sapinsley’s personal traits such as curiosity, courage, critical thinking, and kindness led him on an extraordinary life journey as a successful U.S. Navy veteran, businessman, professor, mentor, philanthropist, champion gofer, and most importantly, a loving husband to Senator Lila Sapinsely (a 2004 RI Heritage Hall of Fame Inductee), a father of four accomplished

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Henry Shelton

Henry Shelton grew up in Central Falls and started his activist career as a Catholic priest. He felt warmth and achievement with worshipers at a couple of different parishes, most notably St. Michael’s Parish in South Providence, but he required greater freedom and mobility to tackle the larger issues that affected peoples’ lives. He soon

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Dr. Patrick T. Conley

Dr. Patrick Thomas “Pat” Conley of Bristol is universally considered as Rhode Island’s most prolific historian and leading disseminator of historical of knowledge concerning the state’s heritage., earning distinction through his pursuit of several different careers as an educator, author, attorney, civic leader, government official, and real estate developer as well as historian. He has

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John E. Moran

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,

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Harold W. Browning

Harold W. Browning, 1893-1987, graduated from Rhode Island State College in 1914, and received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He was Director of Graduate Studies, Dean of Men, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice President, and Vice President Emeritus of the University at the University of Rhode Island. During his

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Dr. Albert L. Midgely

Dr. Albert L. Midgely, a prominent Rhode Island oral surgeon and a pioneer in dental education, was one of the founders of the American College of Dentists on August. 22 1920, at the Copley Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. His name is inscribed on the ceremonial mace to commemorate the founders, and he was elected its

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William Ellery

William Ellery (1727-1820), merchant, congressman, chief justice, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the son of prominent Newport merchant William Ellery and Elizabeth Almy. His well-to-do father sent him to Harvard, from which young William graduated in 1747. He then embarked upon a mercantile career, but when his father’s death in 1764 left

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Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams

In early nineteenth-century Rhode Island, a woman’s role was sharply circumscribed by tradition. A woman—even one of high social station—was thought of mainly as a wife and a mother. Those who ventured beyond the home (religious nuns excepted) might find work from the 1830s onward as a teacher in a primary school, as a school

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Nancy Gewirtz Ph.D.

When Nancy Gewirtz died in 2004 after her courageous and graceful battle with cancer, she was widely and appropriately known by a title the Fund for Community Progress had aptly bestowed upon her in 1997–“A Voice for the Voiceless.” Indeed, Dr. Gewirtz’s entire life was marked by her tireless efforts on behalf of the poor,

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Annie Smith Peck

Annie Smith Peck was an American mountaineer and adventurer. She was an ardent suffragist and noted speaker, lecturing extensively for many years throughout the world, and writing four books encouraging travel and exploration. Peck was born on October 19, 1850, in Providence, Rhode Island. She was the youngest of five children born to Ann Power Smith Peck and George Bacheler Peck.

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Owen Wister

There is some irony in the character creation of the quintessential cowboy hero in the fictional literature of the American West. The John Wayne image of the strong, silent, chivalrous Western hero was created by a Harvard graduate who once wrote operas and poetry. Novelist, playwright, screenwriter, composer, and poet Owen Wister was born in

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Lucy Rawlings Tootell

Lucy R. Tootell was an American schoolteacher, historian, and politician who served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 52 from 1973 until 1977. Following the family tradition of public service, her father, Roy Willard Rawlings, was the Republican Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Her brother, Rob Roy Rawlings, was

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Alva Vanderbilt Belmont

Alva V. Belmont was an American multi-millionaire socialite and women’s suffrage activist. She was noted for her energy, intelligence, strong opinions, and willingness to challenge convention. She was born on January 17, 1853, at 201 Government Street in Mobile, Alabama to Murray Forbes Smith, a merchant, and Phoebe Smith. Her father was the son of

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