Inductees from 2001

  1. Joseph K. Angell (1794-1857)

    Categories: Law / Legal Pioneers

    Angell, Joseph K. (Joseph Kinnicut), 1794-1857

    Joseph K. Angell (1794-1857) of Providence was one of America’s foremost legal scholars of his era.  Most of his many legal treatises dealt with changes in the law occasioned by the transformation of the American economy from a commercial to an industrial base, and he was the nation’s leading authority on riparian law. Read more >

  2. George S. Araujo

    Categories: Artists & Painters, Sports - Other


    The late George S. Araujo, formerly of Providence, a Cape Verdean from the Fox Point neighborhood of the City who is regarded as one of the greatest Rhode Island boxers of all time and was the world’s number-one ranked lightweight fighter when there was only one world ranking. George served as a longtime coach and recreation director with abandoned or delinquent children. He was also an accomplished folk artist with several local exhibitions to his credit. Read more >
  3. Henry Barnard

    Henry Barnard (1811-1900)

    Categories: Education & Universities

    Henry Barnard (1811-1900) was born in Hartford, Connecticut.  He graduated from Yale in 1830, taught school for a year in Pennsylvania, then returned to Connecticut to study law.  Although he gained admission to the bar in 1834, he never practiced.  After a sojourn in Europe, Barnard was elected as a Whig to the Connecticut legislature and soon adopted the reform of the common school as his great cause. Read more >

  4. Arnold Buffum

    Arnold Buffum (1782-1859)

    Categories: Civil Rights / Abolitionists

    Arnold Buffum  was one of Rhode Island’s leading abolitionists.  He was born and raised in a farmhouse near Union Village in present-day North Smithfield. His childhood home, called the William Buffum House for his Quaker father who built it, still stands at 383 Great Road.

    Despite his rural roots, Arnold Buffum became an entrepreneur whose main business was the manufacture and sale of hats in Providence, but he also patented some inventions pertaining to his trade and raised sheep on his father’s farm. Read more >

  5. Robert L. Crandall

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists


    ROBERT L. CRANDALL, of Dallas, Texas and formerly of Westerly, retired President Emeritus of American Airlines where he worked for eighteen years holding positions as president, chairman and CEO. During his tenure with American, he spearheaded many innovative changes in the airline business prompting experts to describe him as “the man who changed the way the world flies.”   Bob has been a major donor and fund-raiser for his alma mater, the University of Rhode Island. Read more >
  6. Prudence Crandall

    Prudence Crandall (1803-1890)

    Categories: Civil Rights / Abolitionists, Education & Universities, Women

    Prudence Crandall  was born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, the daughter of Pardon Crandall, a Quaker farmer and Esther Carpenter, both of whom were descended from prominent old-line South County families.  When Prudence was ten she moved to a farm in nearby Canterbury, Connecticut, but returned to Rhode Island from 1825 to 1830 as a student at the New England Friends’ Boarding School (Moses Brown) in Providence.  She therefore, was both Rhode Island born and educated.

    In 1831, some leading citizens of Canterbury hired Crandall to organize a school for girls. Read more >

  7. Ernest A. DiGregorio, Jr. (1951-)

    Categories: Sports - Basketball


    Enest A. DiGregorio, Jr., the legendary “Ernie D.,” was a Providence College consensus All-American basketball guard in the early 1970's. Read more >
  8. David A. Duffy

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders


    David A. Duffy of North Kingstown, is the retired chairman of the highly successful firm of Duffy & Shanley, a Providence based advertising, marketing and public relations firm. David Duffy worked his way up from a typicla Pawtucket Irish kid working in a bar to success as a prominent businessman and civic leader. 
    Duffy attended St. Read more >
  9. Doris Duke (1912-1993)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Philanthropists


    Duke, Doris, 1912-1993

    The late Doris Duke formerly of Newport, famed tobacco heiress who is one of Rhode Island’s greatest philanthropists. In 1968, she helped to launch the Newport Restoration Foundation to preserve that historic city’s 18th and early 19th century domestic architecture. Later, Ms. Duke made a major gift to the nature Conservancy to preserve land in several communities and directed that her Newport mansion, “Rough Point,” become a public museum. Read more >

  10. Reverend James Fitton (1805-1881)

    Categories: Religion & Churches

    Fitton, James, 1805-1881

    Reverend James Fitton was one of New England’s foremost Catholic missionary priests.  The energetic and seemingly ubiquitous Fitton was a driving force in the development of Rhode Island Catholicism establishing twenty widely-scattered parishes and serving in every major area of early Irish settlement including Newport, Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, and the Pawtuxet Valley.

    Fitton was born in Boston, the son of Abraham Fitton, a wheelwright and Sarah Williams.  Inspired by his parents, he became an acolyte in Holy Cross Cathedral where Bishop John de Cheverus encouraged him to enter the priesthood. Read more >

  11. John Holden Greene

    John Holden Greene (1777-1850)

    Categories: Architects & Designers


    Greene, John Holden, 1777-1850

    John Holden Greene was a carpenter-architect who moved from his native Warwick to Providence in 1794 and designed his first major Providence structure, the Sullivan Dorr House, in 1809.  Embracing the Neo-classical style known as Federal architecture, many of his homes were distinguished by roof and portico balustrading.  Greene designed a sizeable portion of Providence’s finest early 19th century homes and public buildings.  Those that survive in addition to the Dorr House, include the Cathedral of St. Read more >

  12. Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold

    Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold (1766-1843)

    Categories: Religion & Churches


    Griswold, Alexander V. (Alexander Viets), 1766-1843

    Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold (1766-1843) was one of the most prominent American churchmen of the early nineteenth century. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of Elisha Griswold and Eunice Viets who were farmers. As a young boy he came under the influence of his uncle Roger Viets, a former Presbyterian who had become an Episcopal priest. Read more >

  13. Seth Luther

    Seth Luther (1795-1863)

    Categories: Labor / Unions


    Luther, Seth, 1795-1863

    Seth Luther was the most memorable figure in the pioneering days of the Rhode Island labor movement.  When he died in 1863, a Providence Journal obituary said that the “had considerable talent for both writing and speaking, but he was too violent, willful and headstrong to accomplish any good.” The editors then added, for good measure, that he had “just closed his worse than useful life.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Read more >

  14. Mary Elizabeth Sharpe (1885-1985)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Philanthropists, Women

    The late Mary Elizabeth Sharpe formerly of Providence, was an entrepreneur, author, environmentalist, philanthropist, and self-taught landscape architect, whose achievements in the field of landscape design were legendary. She was instrumental in the beautification of Brown University, assisted in the creation of the Japanese Gardens at Roger Williams Park, and spearheaded the renovation of India Point Park.

    A native of Syracuse, New York, she helped support family by making and selling candy. She parlayed that into a career, staring her own business, "Mary Elizabeth Ltd of New York. Read more >

  15. Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Government & Politics, Industry - General

    Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856) was one of the most prominent members of a family that ranked as one of Rhode Island’s richest and most powerful during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century.   He was the son and namesake of William Sprague, founder of the great textile empire, the younger brother of Amasa, whose murder in 1843 gave rise to the infamous trial of John Gordon, and the uncle of William Sprague, Rhode Island’s Civil War Governor and later U.S. Read more >

  16. Robert F Tasca (1926-2010)

    Categories: Philanthropists, Sports - Other
    1926 - 2010 Car Dealer and Philanthropist Extraordinaire In the 1960s the quality of cars coming off American manufacturers' assembly lines began to slip badly. Problems ranged from poor door fits, window leaks, wind noise and squeaks and rattles up to vibrations and drivability issues in the power train. The causes were shortcuts being taken on the lines to cope with increased costs of meeting government mandated emission controls and safety measures. In 1967 these problems prompted Henry Ford II come to Providence to visit Bob Tasca, long a Ford and now also a Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Read more >
  17. Zellio P. "Topper" Toppazzini

    Categories: Sports - Hockey

    The late ZELLIO TOPPAZZINI, of North Providence, regarded as the greatest hockey player in Rhode Island history. Known to all as “Topper,” he is a member of the Rhode Island Reds Hall of Fame and was voted Reds Player of the Century. During his 18 year career, Topper not only played for the Reds, he also competed in the National Hockey League for the Boston Bruins, the Chicago Black Hawks, and the New York Rangers.   He then served as hockey coach at Providence College and elsewhere, as an official, and a scout. Read more >
  18. Michel S. Van Leesten

    Categories: African Americans, Civic Leaders, Native Americans

    MICHAEL S. VAN LEESTEN, of Providence, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is the former director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence, former director of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rhode Island, former chairman of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, and a prominent real estate developer. He has held leadership positions in the NAACP, Urban League, the Black Repertory Company, and the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. As a youth, Mike was a star schoolboy and college athlete, excelling in basketball. Read more >
  19. Harriet Ware

    Harriet Ware (1799-1847)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Women

    Harriet Ware, 1799-1849, a 19th-century reformer of strong religious convictions, founded the Providence Children's Friend Society, an organization still operating over 100 years later to serve impoverished Rhode Islanders.

    Upon her arrival in Hopkinton, RI, she shocked to see overcrowded and dilapidated homes, overflowing with unwanted, malnourished, filthy, shoeless children, many of whom worked 14-hour days in one of the many local cotton mills. Miss Ware then sought donations from churches and contributions from the community to offer assistance and makeshift accommodations for children in need.

    A group of women on the East Side of Providence, concerned with the plight of neglected children in the India Point neighborhood, offered to support Harriet if she would open a school in that district. Read more >

  20. Russell Warren

    Russell Warren (1783-1860)

    Categories: Architects & Designers

    Russell Warren, 1783-1860, was a Tiverton-born carpenter who became one of Rhode Island's leading architects. The first phase of his career (1800-1823) was marked by residence in Bristol where he designed mansions for that town's prosperous merchants. His move to Providence in 1826 allowed him to design (with James C. Bucklin) such important structures as the Providence Arcade (1827-29) and the Westminster Congregational Church (1828-29). Read more >

  21. John Whipple

    John Whipple (1784-1866)

    Categories: Government & Politics, Law / Legal Pioneers

    John Whipple (1784-1866) of Providence was a leader of the early 19th century Rhode Island Bar, the state's foremost trial attorney, and Rhode Island's most prominent constitutional lawyer. Daniel Webster,Whipple's co-counsel in the landmark Rhode Island case of Luther v. Borden (1849) regarded Whipple and Jeremiah Mason of New Hampshire as the two most formidable attorneys that he had encountered during his four decades of U.S. Read more >



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