Passages

June 27, 2020


BIRTHDAY

Storied world heavyweight boxing champion William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey was born June 24, 1895 in Manassa, Colorado. 

Dempsey, an icon of the 1920’s whose professional career ran from 1914-1927, reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919-1926. He was an inaugural member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and is ranked tenth on The Ring Magazine’s all-time heavyweights. 

The champ, who was Irish and Cherokee, retired from boxing in 1940 with a record of 60-7-8. He went on to be a successful restaurant owner in New York City. Jack married, a fourth and final time, to Deanna Piatelli in 1958. She traveled the world with him before his death at aged 87 on May 31, 1983. Deanna passed away on January 23, 2003.  Her daughter, Barbara, fondly remembers Jack, especially on his birthday. At Irish America’s “Irish of the Century” gala dinner, she recalled that her stepfather kept some clay from Ireland wrapped in a handkerchief in his bedroom chest of drawers.

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Demspey

Read Remembering the Champ – an interview with Jack’s widow Deanna by Marilyn Cole Lownes that ran in our June 1998 issue


OBITUARY

Michael Francis “Mike” McCormick, who threw his first major league pitch at age 17 with the 1956 New York Giants, died on June 13 at his home in Cornelius, N.C. He was 81.

McCormick played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball. He played for the New York and San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, New York Yankees, and the Kansas City Royals for whom he played his last game on May 2, 1971.

He was a two-time All-Star with the Giants in San Francisco, and later overcame a sore arm to win the 1967 Cy Young Award as the National League’s leading pitcher.

McCormick was born on September 29, 1938 in Pasadena, California. His father Kenneth had pitched in semipro ball, and Mike was a high school star.

After he graduated from high school, he married Carolyn Koehler on August 2, 1956. He intended to go to the University of Southern California, but the Giants offered him a signing bonus of $50,000 to forego college and join the organization, and he went straight to the Major League.

The 1967 season was McCormick’s best. He led the National League in wins (22), and won the Cy Young Award.

McCormick, who was known as the player who hit the 500th home run by a Major League Pitcher, was also known as the player who gave up Hank Aaron’s 500th home run.  His personalized license plate read “Mr. 500.”

After his baseball career, McCormick was a stockbroker, and served annually as a guest instructor for the Giants during spring training.

He is survived by his second wife, Dierdre, their daughter, Tara; two sons, Michael Jr. and Matthew, and a daughter, Stacy Moeller, from his marriage to Carolyn; a stepson, Cory Hodge; seven grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

(sources: NY Times/Wikipedia)


RETIREMENT

Martin Kehoe is a partner with PwC in New York and a multi honoree Irish America’s Wall Street 50. After a distinguished 30+ year career of serving multinational clients across a variety of industries Martin will begin a richly deserved retirement at the end of June.

Martin was born and raised in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where he attended the Christian Brothers School and played Gaelic football, hurling, and rugby as a young man. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an honors degree in business and joined PwC after graduation, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Martin subsequently moved to New York City with PwC, becoming a partner with the firm in 1996.

Martin says, “It is great to be part of the U.S. business environment and the Irish community in this inclusive, diverse and vibrant city which I have grown to love so much.”

Martin, who has featured on Irish America’s Business 100 and Wall Street 50 lists, introduced PwC US Chairman and Senior Partner Tim Ryan as the keynote speaker at the 2017 Wall Street 50 gala dinner at the St. Regis. (See video below). Martin is married to Mary Kelly from Bree, County Wexford, with whom he has two daughters, Allison and Laura. Martin is active in the community, where he serves on the board of Young People’s Chorus of NYC, recently named “Choir of the World.” He is also an active supporter of the Gaelic Players Association and the American Ireland Fund. Martin is a member of the AICPA, the New York and California State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Martin is looking forward to spending time with family and friends in retirement, continuing his involvement in the community, and as an avid sports fan, following the NY Mets and Giants, the Irish rugby team and most of all the Wexford hurling team, and hoping to win a few dollars from his brothers on the golf course!

Congratulations Martin on a wonderful career. Enjoy the days ahead.


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