Congressman Joe Crowley
By Ray O’Hanlon
Congressman Joe Crowley, whose political career has taken him into the front line of the nation’s political life, is the Irish Echo Irish American of the Year for 2018.
Congressman Crowley is the eleventh person to win the accolade since it was revived in 2007.
Crowley succeeds university lecturer and Great Hunger curriculum pioneer, Professor Maureen Murphy, who was the 2017 recipient of the title.
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Married and a father of three, Crowley, a Democrat, represents New York’s 14th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to redistricting, he represented New York’s 7th congressional district.
Rep. Crowley is chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party and became chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2017. As such, he is the fourth ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
His congressional career goes back to 1998, so this year marks his twentieth anniversary on Capitol Hill.
Crowley was born in New York City, the son of an Irish-American father and an immigrant mother from County Armagh.
He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 1998.
His cousin, New York City firefighter John Moran, was killed as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Crowley subsequently authored a bill that provided the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor to all emergency workers who died as a result of the attacks. The bill was passed unanimously by the House and Senate.
Crowley is a leading member of the congressional Friends of Ireland. One of his recent initiatives has been aimed at naming a park in the nation’s capital after Irish patriot and immigrant, Thomas Addis Emmet.
Rep. Crowley joins a distinguished and varied Irish American of the Year roster. He is the third member of Congress to be named to it, the other two being Republican Peter King and Democrat Richard Neal.
Rep. King was Irish American of the Year in 2016 and broadcaster Adrian Flannelly was the 2015 title holder.
The winners prior to Mr. Flannelly were Philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman, attorney and rights activist Brian O’Dwyer, author Pete Hamill, Congressman Neal, author Colum McCann, New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
“We proudly welcome Congressman Crowley to the growing family of Irish Echo Irish American of the Year award holders,” said Echo publisher, Connla McCann.