Inductees from 2009

  1. Major General Zenas Randall Bliss

    Major General Zenas Randall Bliss (1835-1900)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Military

    Major General Zenas Randall Bliss was born in the Johnston village of Simmonsville on April 17, 1835. He passed a comfortable youth in a middle class family until he won a direct appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1850, at the age of fifteen. At West Point Bliss graduated near the bottom of the class of 1854 and was immediately dispatched to Texas to serve with the Eighth United States Infantry.

    Promotion to first lieutenant came in 1860, as Bliss continued with his peacetime duties of policing the frontier. Read more >
  2. Dr. Charles Carroll (1876-1936)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Law / Legal Pioneers



    Carroll, Charles, 1876-1936

    Dr. Charles Carroll, Rhode Island’s foremost historian of his era, was born in Providence to newspaper printer William Carroll and Mary (Sheehan) Carroll. He was educated in the Providence public schools and at Brown University where he excelled in mathematics, edited the Brown Daily Herald, captained the debate team, and served as secretary of the class of 1898. He furthered his studies at Harvard receiving a law degree from that university in 1901, the same year he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar. Read more >

  3. Irwin Chase

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs

    Irwin Chase is the eldest son of Martin Chase, a Russian Jew who immigrated with his family from the Ukraine to Providence in 1912. The Chase family first settled in South Providence but later moved to the East Side. Born in 1926, Irwin attended Hope High School. At eighteen he joined the army and fought in World War II earning a Combat Infantryman Badge and a Bronze Star. Read more >

  4. Arthur A. Coia, Esq. (1943-)

    Categories: Labor / Unions, Law / Legal Pioneers, Philanthropists

    Arthur A. Coia was born on March 21,1943 in the Italian section of Charles Street, Providence, Rhode Island graduating from LaSalle Academy, Providence College, and Boston University Law School. He is a founding partner with over 40 years of experience in the New England-based law firm of Coia and Lepore, LTD. specializing in labor law, labor management cooperation, health care reform, finance, business analysis, and human resource management. Read more >
  5. Reverend Angelo D'Agostino, S.J., M.D. (1926-2006)

    Categories: Medicine & Health Care, Religion & Churches

    Father Angelo D'Agostino, 1926-2006 was born on January 26, 1926 in Providence, Rhode Island and died at work in Nairobi, Kenya on November 20, 2006. Raised in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence, Angelo was educated at Holy Ghost School, LaSalle Academy, and St. Michael's College in Vermont. He received both an M. Read more >

  6. Reverend John Byron Diman (1863-1949)

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

    Diman, John Byron, 1863-1949

    Reverend John Byron Diman was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to a prominent Rhode Island family of French-Huguenot origin, a branch of which settled in Bristol. The family's surname has been spelled in several ways including “Diamont ” and “Diamond.” John's grandfather Byron was the Law and Order governor of Rhode Island in 1846-47; another relative, Francis M. Diamond served as governor in 1853-54 as a Democrat. Read more >
  7. Chief Justice Thomas Durfee (1826-1901)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Law / Legal Pioneers, Literature / Writers / Newspapers

    Durfee, Thomas, 1826-1901

    Thomas Durfee was the eldest son of Job Durfee, who was chief justice of Rhode Island from 1828 to 1849, was marked from the outset for a career in law. His mother was Judith Borden, member of a prominent Fall River Family. Thomas completed his preparatory education at the East Greenwich Academy and graduated with honors from Brown University in 1846.

    After studying law under the tutelage of Charles Tillinghast and future chief justice Charles F. Read more >
  8. Amasa Eaton (1841-1914)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Law / Legal Pioneers


    Eaton, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1841-1914


    Amasa Eaton  was a prominent Providence attorney who might be described as the quintessential Progressive reformer. His distinguished lineage included Providence’s Brown family and the Herreshoffs of Bristol. 
    He was an outspoken advocate of home rule for Providence and a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, the Blackstone Neighborhood Improvement Association, and various good-government organizations. Read more >
  9. Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard

    Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837-1916)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Famous RI Families, Government & Politics, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Industry - Textiles

    Goddard, Robert H. I. (Robert Hale Ives), 1837-1916

    Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard, newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Read more >

  10. John Gorham

    John Gorham (1820-1898)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Craftsmen, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Industry - General

    Gorham, John, 1820-1898

    John Gorham was born in Providence on November 18, 1820. He was the eldest son of Jabez Gorham who had established himself as a leading manufacturer of silverware and jewelry in Providence in the 1830s.

    John began his apprenticeship in 1837 and in 1841, at the age of 21, he became a partner in his father's business which then became known as J. Gorham & Son. Read more >

  11. Dr. Ramon Guiteras

    Dr. Ramon Guiteras (1858-1917)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Medicine & Health Care

    Guiteras, Ramon, 1858-1917
    Certainly the most prominent person of Latin American heritage at the turn of the 20th century was Ramon Guiteras, a native of Bristol. He was the son of a prominent Cuban banker with financial ties to Bristol's DeWolf family. Because the DeWolf's maintained substantial investments in Cuba, family connections followed those of a financial nature. Ramon Guiteras, Sr. Read more >
  12. Alan G. Hassenfeld (1948-)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Industry - General, Philanthropists

    Alan Hassenfeld is the former chairman of the board and present chairman of the executive committee of Hasbro, Inc., a multi-billion dollar international toy company. Under his leadership, Hasbro has become a worldwide leader in children's and family entertainment. Its brands and products are some of the most recognizable and respected throughout the world. Read more >

  13. Randall C. "Randy" Hien (1949-2006)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Music (Singers, Composers), Sports - Baseball

    Randall C. (“Randy”) Hien, 1949-2006, became legendary in Rhode Island for his remarkable accomplishments in two fields. As one of the most successful baseball coaches in the state, he devoted himself tirelessly to Rhode Island youth sports for thirty years. During that time, he transformed his beloved Lincoln Little League All-Stars into a nationally-competitive powerhouse, winning an unprecedented ten District Championships, seven Rhode Island Championships, and two New England Championships that culminated in two trips to the Little League World Series. Read more >

  14. Dr. John William Keefe (1863-1935)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Medicine & Health Care

    Dr. John William Keefe (1863-1935) was a surgeon of great skill and compassion who founded the John W. Keefe Surgery at 262 Blackstone Boulevard in Providence. Although a successful physician in both private practice and as a consulting surgeon at several hospitals, it was his dream to build and operate a small institution where the faults and inefficiencies of general hospitals with their many wards, doctors and nurses would be replaced by a professional efficiency combined with a personal touch. Read more >

  15. Dr. D. Scott Molloy, Jr.

    Categories: Education & Universities, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Labor / Unions
    Scott was born on August 17, 1946 into an Irish-Catholic, blue-collar family from the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood of Providence that had close ties to organized labor. His working-class background and his Irish ethnicity exerted profound influences upon his career and his achievements. Scott eventually became a labor leader and Rhode Island's foremost labor historian as well as a leading authority on Rhode Island's Irish-American community. Encouraged by his parents, he put his nose to the educational grindstone graduating from Hope High School, Rhode Island College (A. Read more >
  16. James Joseph O'Connell, M.D. (1948-)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Medicine & Health Care

    Dr. James J. O'Connell, a native of Newport and a graduate of Harvard Medical School, has truly made a difference in the world of medicine. Since 1985, when he helped found the Boston Health Care For The Homeless Program, he has worked tirelessly to bring medical care and dignity to the less fortunate. Read more >

  17. Annie Smith Peck

    Annie Smith Peck (1850-1935)

    Categories: Explorers & Adventurers, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Women

    Peck, Annie S. (Annie Smith), 1850-1935

    Annie Smith Peck was born on October 19, 1850 in a two story house at 865 North Main Street in Providence. She lived with her parents and three brothers in a home that her grandfather had built. Her mother traced the family's roots to Roger Williams the founder of Providence. Read more >

  18. Judge Joseph F. Rodgers, Jr. (1941-)

    Categories: Law / Legal Pioneers

    Joseph R. Rodgers, Jr., presiding Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court since 1991, is the youngest judge in modern Rhode Island history to be appointed to both the District and Superior courts. In 1974, at age 33, he became associate justice of the District Court and was elevated to the Superior Court in 1976. Read more >

  19. George M. Sage (1931-2006)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Sports - Hockey

    George M. Sage, 1931-2006, was one of the most beloved Rhode Islanders of his generation. A gifted businessman, Mr. Sage had an even more substantial impact for his philanthropic endeavors, planning and executing a legacy of giving that will benefit Rhode Islanders for years to come. Read more >

  20. Walter Scott

    Walter Scott (1841-1924)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Inventors & Inventions

    The steps leading to the invention of an American cultural original, the diner eatery, began in Providence through the initiative of Walter Scott. He was born on November 28, 1841 in Cumberland, the son of lawyer Joseph A. Scott and Juliet Howland Scott. By age eleven Scott was peddling candy, fruit, and newspapers on the streets of Providence to supplement his widowed mother's small income. Read more >

  21. Bishop William Stang (1854-1907)

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Religion & Churches

    William Stang (1854-1907) was born in Langenbucken, Germany, studied for the Catholic priesthood at Louvain in Belgium, and was ordained in June 1878. Little else is known of his early life.

    Irish-born bishop Thomas F. Hendricken (whose surname indicates his German ancestor) sought a German-speaking priest for the small but growing German community in the Diocese of Providence. Read more >



Search Inductees
Browse through our collection of 750+ amazing Rhode Islanders:

Search by Name or Keyword:

Area of Accomplishment:

African Americans | Agriculture / Farming | Architects & Designers | Artists & Painters | Banking / Finance | Business / Entrepreneurs | Civic Leaders | Civil Engineer | Civil Rights / Abolitionists | Clergy | Craftsmen | Dance | Econonomics / Theory | Education & Universities | Entertainment Development | Explorers & Adventurers | Famous RI Families | Food / Culinary | Founders of Rhode Island | Government & Politics | Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation | Immigrants: Chinese | Immigrants: Irish | Immigrants: Portuguese | Industry - General | Industry - Jewelry | Industry - Maritime | Industry - Textiles | Inventors & Inventions | Labor / Unions | Law / Legal Pioneers | Literature / Writers / Newspapers | Medicine & Health Care | Military | Music (Singers, Composers) | Native Americans | Olympic Athletes | Philanthropists | Religion & Churches | Retail Pioneers | Rogues | Sports - Baseball | Sports - Basketball | Sports - Football | Sports - Golf | Sports - Hockey | Sports - Other | Sports - Tennis | Sports - Track and Field | Technology & Science | Theater | TV & Radio | Women |

Browse Years of Induction: