I have been thinking about Maureen O’Hara as I just finished watching the “Quiet man”. Some would say, one of Irelands national treasures. (Born Maureen Fitzsimons) She was a strong woman that lived until she was 95! She lived through some incredible times as well. She was born in Dublin, one of six children.

O’Hara was a singer & actress. She was one of the greats, a legend, one of the longest-lived stars from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood.

In her day, O’Hara’s mother, Marguerite, was considered one of the most beautiful women in Ireland. O’Hara trained with the Rathmines theater company and at the famous Abby theater in Dublin. She moved to America as a teenager to act. She married three times and had one daughter named Bronwyn. O’Hara’s third husband Charles Blair was a pilot and head of the United States Virgin Island airlines. Sadly, O’Hara’s husband Charles died while flying for his airline. O’Hara was elected president of the airline. She also ran a clothing store; she was quit a businesswoman.

She was diagnosed unfortunately with uterine cancer (4th most common cancer in women in the U.S). She had an operation and fully recovered thankfully.

However, years later she died at her home in Idaho from natural causes. She is honored in a variety of ways which include: winning the John F. Kennedy Memorial award for outstanding American, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 1999 she was honored to be the Grand Marshall of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and O’Hara was named Irish America’s “Irish American of the Year” in 2005.

In 2011 she was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame, and our publisher, Cliff Carlson had the honor of presenting it to Maureen near her home in Glengariff, Co Cork, Ireland. In 2012 she received the Freedom of the Town of Kells, Co. Meath, her father’s hometown. Her autobiography, ‘Tis Herself’, became a New York Times Bestseller. There is a statue of O’Hara in Cong, Co. Mayo.  O’Hare famously said, ‘”My heritage has been my grounding and it has brought me peace”. I will leave you with this story about achievement…

During the 1940s, custodians who worked for the New York Public Library often lived inside the buildings they tended. In exchange for cleaning and keeping the building secure at night, the library provided an apartment for the custodians and their families. Ronald Clark’s father, Raymond, was one of those custodians.

For three decades he lived with his family on the top floor of the Washington Heights branch on St. Nicholas Avenue in upper Manhattan. Three generations of the Clark family resided in that library until Ronald’s father retired in the late 1970s. After college, Ronald got a position as a professor teaching history at Cape Cod Community College. At StoryCorps, Ronald told his daughter, Jamilah Clark, how living inside the library shaped the man he would become.

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