Irish Americans have netted an exceptional position in the social, economic and political affairs of the US. When it comes to ethnic contribution and accomplishments, they are known for pushing the limits to make a name for themselves, and their country.
With several surveys conducted showing the public approval for particular individuals, most of these polls lean towards those in the formal sectors. Nevertheless, a recent study by the Irish Central on the most famous unofficial Irish Americans showed a different trend.
Let’s have a glimpse at some of the favorites that made the list of the most popular Irish Americans.
1. Saoirse Ranon
Image Source: Pixgood
Born in Bronx, New York City- an area that is predominantly occupied by the Irish Americans, Saoirse Ranon spent the better part of her childhood in Ireland, after her Irish parents moved to Ireland. With most of the Irish names holding unique meaning, her first name means “freedom.”
Despite moving to New York in 2015, she maintains her dual citizenship for the United States and Ireland. Before relocating to America and making her way to Hollywood, she had featured in TV series the Proof and the Clinic. In her new movie “Brooklyn”, Ronan is obliged to depict an Irish immigrant of 1950s in New York City.
2. Megyn Kelly
Image Source: Associated Press
Born in 1970, the former attorney boasts of both Italian and Irish Descent. Her mother gives her the Italian ancestry while her father traces his ancestry to the Irish Immigrants. Despite being a political commentator, her political impartiality comes from the fact that she has voted for the Democrats and Republicans in different elections.
As the Fox News Channel Anchor, her program centers on developing political news and events. As a former litigator, she is well suited to provide the required podium for deliberating on events as they develop. In 2015, she formed the team of anchors that moderated the GOP presidential debate that was ranked the best Non-sports Broadcast in history.
3. Chuck Feeney
Image Source: Breaking News
Currently, it is difficult to talk about charity without mentioning the Irish American Businessman for his philanthropist initiatives. Born in 1931, Chuck Feeney parents traced their ancestry to the County Fermanagh in Ireland. He cofounded that Duty-Free Shoppers group and founded the Atlantic Philanthropies- one of the world leading private foundations.
Despite his widespread recognition In Irish America and Ireland, he maintained his anonymity until 1997 when a potential lawsuit threatened to expose his donations. Through his foundation, he has channeled approximately $6.2 billion to the mainstream sectors of the economy in USA, Vietnam, Australia, South Africa, Bermuda, and Ireland. There is an extra $1.3 billion set for 2016, with the foundation expected to wind up the operations in 2020.
4. William Campbell
Image Source: Karolinska Institute
Born in 1930, and raised in Ireland, he studied at Dublin’s Trinity College and graduated in 1952. Upon completing his Ph.D., he began working at the Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research where he discovered the fungicide thiabendazole. He gained the US citizenship in 1962 but maintains his Irish identity through the dual citizenship.
In 2015, The New Jersey-based scientist became the second scientist of Irish descent to win the Nobel Prize in the field of Medicine. He was Co-awarded with a Japanese Scientist for discovering a novel psychotherapy for diseases caused by roundworms. Also, he played a pivotal role in discovering avermectins- A category of drugs that have shown “outstanding efficacy” in treating parasite vectored illnesses such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
5. Liam Neeson
Image Source: PR photos
The Irish Actors was born in 1952, in County Antrim, Ireland. He was raised in a Catholic family and named after a Local Catholic priest- Liam. He first expressed his acting prowess at the age of 11 years when he played a lead role in a school play. Other than acting, little is spoken of his involvement in the amateur boxing at the age of 9 years.
Neeson began his professional acting career when he participated in a religious film the Pilgrims progress in 1977. Since then, the Irish star has featured in numerous movies that have attracted fans worldwide. Despite losing his wife to a ski accident, Liam is set to revamp his 38 years career in a new Spy thriller, where he will take the Legendary FBI role.
For the rest of the list check out Irish Central: Irish Central is the largest Irish site in North America and covers news and interests, from the nostalgic and the modern Irish America and Ireland. Their team is dedicated to telling stories about Irish culture, roots, history, genealogy, and is a leading source for news and politics from Irish America and Ireland.
Watch Saoirse Ranon Teach Stephen Colbert How To Speak With An Irish Accent
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