Inductees from 1998

  1. Bishop George Berkeley

    Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Immigrants: Irish, Philanthropists, Religion & Churches

    Bishop George Berkeley,1685-1753, was an Irish-born enlightenment philosopher, Anglican Bishop, philanthropist, and proprietor of Whitehall in Middletown from 1729-1731. After his return to Ireland in 1732, he was soon consecrated Bishop of Cloyne and continued his philosophical writings. His poem "On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America" is famous for the oracular line "Westward the course of Empire takes its way."

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  2. Samuel Casey

    Samuel Casey (1724-1773)

    Categories: Craftsmen, Rogues

    Samuel Casey, 1724-?, of Kingston, craftsman, was colonial Rhode Island's most accomplished silversmith. From his shop in Little Rest (Kingston), Casey crafted teapots, tankards, and porringers that are highly prized by collectors and featured in the top museums in America.

    Teapot, Samuel Casey, Little Rest, Rhode Island, c. 1755, silver - Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA

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  3. William Claggett, Sr. (1696-1749)

    Categories: Craftsmen, Inventors & Inventions

    William Claggett, sr., 1696-1749, of Newport, was a pioneering experimenter with electricity who influenced Benjamin Franklin, craftsman and colonial Rhode Island's finest clockmaker. The versatile Claggett gained recognition not only for his timepieces, but also for his skills as an organ-builder, compass maker, engraver, printer and author. Read more >

  4. Gov. Samuel Cranston

    Gov. Samuel Cranston (1659-1727)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics

    Samuel Cranston, 1659-1727, of Newport, was a statesman and governor of Rhode Island for almost twenty-nine years--1698-1727--a tenure not only longer than any Rhode Island governor but also exceeding the tenure of any other chief executive of an American colony or state. Cranston presided over the transformation of Rhode Island from a beleaguered cluster of villages to a flourishing agricultural province. His outstanding accomplishment was to bring his colony into a working relationship with the imperial government in London while preserving its charter privileges.

    Photograph of Samuel Cranston's grave medallion, Common Burying Ground, Newport, Rhode Island, 22 July 2011 c. Read more >

  5. Helen Metcalf Danforth

    Helen Metcalf Danforth (1887-1984)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Famous RI Families, Women

    The late Helen Metcalf Danforth, 1887-1984, formerly of Providence, served as President of the Corporation of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1931-1947. She also served as a member of the RISD education committee until 1965, when she was elected Chairman Emeratia. During her term of office she is credited with guiding RISD from a diploma-granting vocational school to a degree-granting accredited college, overseeing significant physical expansion, and for guiding the prestigious RISD Museum of Art to national prominence. Read more >

  6. Silas Downer

    Silas Downer (1729-1785)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics, Literature / Writers / Newspapers

    Silas Downer, 1729-1785, was a prominent Providence attorney and civic leader, author, scrivener, and leader of the patriot cause. He has been called Rhode Island's "Penman of the Revolution." Downer's most patriotic treatise was a 1768 Discourse delivered in Providence repudiating Parliament's Declaratory Act. This essay has been cited as the first significant challenge to the authority of Parliament to make laws of any kind to regulate the colonies. Read more >

  7. William F. F. Farley (1942-)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Sports - Baseball, Sports - Football, Sports - Other

    William F. Farley, of Pawtucket, now of Chicago, is businessman who was was chairman and CEO of Fruit of the Loom the highly successful international manufacturer and distributor of basic family apparel for fifteen years (1985-1999). Farley acquired Fruit of the Loom in 1986. Under Farley's leadership, sales exceeded $2 billion. Read more >

  8. James & Ann Smith Franklin

    James & Ann Smith Franklin (1696-1763)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Women

    James Franklin ,1696-1735, and Ann Smith Franklin, 1696-1763, of Newport, were journalists and Rhode Island's first printers and newspaper publishers. In 1727 they set up Rhode Island's first printing press. In 1732 he issued the Rhode Island Gazette, Rhode Island's first newspaper. When James died in February, 1735, the printing shop was continued under the auspices of Ann Franklin, whose imprint appeared as “The Widow Franklin. Read more >

  9. Sarah Updike Goddard

    Sarah Updike Goddard (1701-1770)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Women

    Sarah Updike Goddard, 1701-1770, of North Kingstown and Providence was a journalist, publisher, civic leader, and editor of the Providence Gazette. She was descended from the Smiths and Updikes of Cocumscussoc and married DiGiles Goddard in 1735. Her son William founded the Providence Gazette in 1762 but left the business in 1765. Sarah continued to print the paper on a weekly basis until 1768 when she sold her interest to John Carter. Read more >

  10. Peter Harrison

    Peter Harrison (1716-1775)

    Categories: Architects & Designers

    Peter Harrison, 1716-1775, of Newport, was the foremost architect of colonial America, having designed the Redwood Library (1748), Brick Market (1761), Christ Church, Cambridge (1761), and Touro Synagogue (1762-1763). According to architectural historians, it was because of Harrison's ability to adapt and interpret two-dimensional English drawings into three-dimensional colonial reality that Newport's public colonial buildings rank among the most splendid in the colonies. Read more >

  11. Hubert C. "Ted" Hersey (1929-2016)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Sports - Other

    The late Hubert C. "Ted" Hersey of Middletown was an internationally recognized science teacher at St. George's school, chairman of the school's science and computer departments and renowned teacher of physics. Hersey was also a highly successful coach of cross-country and track & field. Read more >

  12. Armand M. LaMontagne (1939-)

    Categories: Artists & Painters

    Armand M. LaMontagne is considered one of America's preeminent sculptors of celebrated personalities. Best known for his life-size wood and bronze sculptures of well-known public figures he has sculpted significant likenesses of well known athletes such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Carl Yastrzemski and Harry Agganis, as well as prominent individuals including George Patton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, Elvis Presley and Lord Horatio Nelson. Read more >

  13. Rev. James MacSparran

    Rev. James MacSparran (1693-1757)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Religion & Churches

    James MacSparran,1693-1757 of South County was an Anglican clergyman, civic leader, diarist, and author of America Dissected (1753). The Irish-born MacSparran came to America in 1718 as a Presbyterian but soon converted to Anglicism and received the pastorate at St. Paul's church in Wickford. For over thirty-six years he was a dominant religious and intellectual influence in South County. Read more >

  14. Edwin G. O'Connor (1918-1968)

    Categories: Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Theater, TV & Radio

    The late Edwin G. O'Connor, a Providence native and former Woonsocket resident, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose works included The Last Hurrah, The Edge of Sadness, for which he received the Pulizer; and "All in the Family." A multi-talented individual, he was also a playwright, creating I Was Daning and Traveler for Brazil for the theater, worked as a radio announcer in several cities including Providence; and as a writer-producer for the Yankee Radio Network. Read more >

  15. Rev. Ezra Stiles

    Rev. Ezra Stiles (1727-1795)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Religion & Churches

    Reverend Ezra Stiles, 1727-1795, of Newport was a Congregational clergyman, scholar, diarist, author, civic leader and president of Yale University from 1778-1795. Stiles was one of the foremost intellectuals of colonial Rhode Island. During his tenure in Newport (1755-1776), he served as librarian of Redwood Library, pastor of the Second Congregational Church, and a spokesman for the patriot cause prior to the American Revolution. His fifteen-volume diary and six volumes of notes on his "itineraries" are a major source for late 18th century American history. Read more >

  16. John Townsend

    John Townsend (1733-1809)

    Categories: Craftsmen, Famous RI Families

    John Townsend, 1733-1809, of Newport, a leading representative member of America's most prominent family group of craftsmen -the Townsend Goddard group of Newport whose products make the period 1740-1850, today command the highest auction prices for American furniture. He was only one of at least 18 family members in an extended three-generation family of Townsends and Goddards who crafted the famed Newport style of American furniture from 1740 to 1840. Other famous members of their Quaker clan, who lived and worked in the Point section of Newport, were John Goddard, Joseph, Jr., and Christopher Townsend. Read more >

  17. Gov. Samuel Ward

    Gov. Samuel Ward (1725-1776)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics

    Samuel Ward,1725-1776, of Westerly, co-founder of America's first party system, governor, chief justice, and Revolutionary War leader. He was the son of Rhode Island governor and gentleman farmer Richard Ward (1740-1742). He joined his great political rival Stephen Hopkins as the two Rhode Island delegates to the Continental Congress in the movement toward independence. Only his untimely death in the spring of 1776 prevented Ward from becoming a Rhode Island signer of the Declaration of Independence. Read more >

  18. Dr. George W. Waterman

    Categories: Medicine & Health Care

    The late Dr. George W. Waterman, was a Providence native and renowned obstetrician and gynecologist whose medical career spanned half a century and included significant work in the fight against cancer. A graduate of Brown and Cornell Universities, he was a past president of the Rhode Island and New England Medical Societies; was acclaimed for his work in the combined use of radium and surgery in the treatment of cancer of the uterus and other gynecological procedures, and pioneered the Rhode Island chapter of the American Cancer Society. Read more >

  19. John Hazen White Sr. (1914-2001)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Education & Universities, Philanthropists

    John Hazen White, Sr. , 1914-2001,of Barrington, was a prominent businessman whose Cranston-based "TACO, Inc." is among the country's most successful manufacturing companies. He has defended Rhode Islanders by enlightening them to the cost of Government and the consequences of legislative decisions through his innovative "Red Alert" efforts, while bearing all costs associated with the program. Read more >

  20. James H. Woods (1947-)

    Categories: Theater, TV & Radio

    James H. Woods formerly of Warwick, now living in Los Angeles, is a multi-award winning stage and screen actor who has had an extraordinary career. An extremely versatile performer he has excelled across a wide spectrum of acting roles in major movie, television and theater productions. His honored performances in Ghosts of Mississippi and Salvador earned him two Academy Award nominations. Read more >



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