Inductees from 2013

  1. Captain William Henry Allen

    Captain William Henry Allen (1784-1813)

    Categories: Military

    Allen, William Henry, 1784-1813

    Far less known than Rhode Island’s Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the September 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Captain William Henry Allen was no less daring and courageous. He was born in Providence on October 21, 1784, the son of Sarah Jones, sister of Governor William Jones, and Major William Allen of Providence, a distinguished Revolutionary War soldier, later a brigadier general of militia and sheriff of Providence County. 

    Little is known of Captain Allen’s education, but his surviving journals and letters show a skilled penman and artist whose sketches in his writings were well executed. Allen wanted a naval career, so his influential parents, despite serious misgivings, prevailed upon U. Read more >

  2. Monsignor Anthony Bove

    Monsignor Anthony Bove (1877-1931)

    Categories: Religion & Churches

    Anthony Bove was born on May 17, 1877 at Albano di Lucania, Italy, the son of well-to-do parents. After receiving a thorough classical and theological education, he was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty-two by reason of his high scholastic standing. Immediately thereafter he came to Rhode Island to do parish work for the state’s rapidly growing Italian population.

    His first assignment from Bishop Matthew Harkins was at the mission church in Thornton, that eventually became St. Read more >
  3. Wilma H. Briggs

    Wilma H. Briggs (1930-)

    Categories: Sports - Baseball, Women

    Wilma  Briggs was born in East Greenwich on November 6, 1930.  One of 11 children, she grew up on a farm in the Frenchtown section of town.  Her father,  Fred Briggs,  was a semi-professional baseball player  and coach.  As a young  girl, after performing daily farm chores,  Wilma typically  joined  her father and brothers  in highly- competitive family baseball games. Read more >
  4. Billie Ann Burrill

    Billie Ann Burrill (1921-2010)

    Categories: Dance, Education & Universities, Explorers & Adventurers, Sports - Other, Women

    World-class master’s athlete, coach, sports administrator, and indefatigable worker for the performing arts in Rhode Island, Billie Ann Burrill’s talents have known no bounds. While she was director of the Health and Physical Education Department at Rhode Island College, her drive and enthusiasm enabled the school’s Performing Arts Series to become the finest in the state.

    Burrill was born in Joliet, Illinois on March 11, 1921. She served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. Read more >

  5. Dr. John Bates Clark

    Dr. John Bates Clark (1847-1938)

    Categories: Econonomics / Theory, Education & Universities



    Clark, John Bates, 1847-1938

    John Bates Clark was born in Providence on January 26, 1847, the son of merchant John H. Clark and Charlotte Huntington. In his early youth, his family moved to Minneapolis where his father engaged in the business of selling farm machinery. Clark came east in the early 1860s to attend Providence High School and Brown University, but after a return to Minnesota to manage his ailing father’s business, he concluded his American studies at Amherst College. Read more >

  6. Andrew

    Andrew "Andy" J. Coakley (1882-1963)

    Categories: Sports - Baseball

     Andrew James “Andy” Coakley was born in the predominantly Irish South Providence neighborhood of the City of Providence on November 20, 1882, the son of Irish immigrants. As a teenager he became a star sandlot pitcher for the St. Michael’s parish team then coached by “the King of the Sandlots,” the legendary Tim O’ Neil. After playing at Providence High School, Coakley enrolled at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, most likely on an athletic scholarship. Read more >

  7. Colonel Randall A. Harrington

    Colonel Randall A. Harrington (1854-1918)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Entertainment Development

    Harrington, Randall A. (Randall Augustus), 1854-1918

    Colonel Randall Augustus Harrington (1854-1918) was born in the mill village of Phenix, then a part of the town of Warwick in 1854, the son of Randall A. Harrington and Mary Madison Harrington. The Harringtons and Madisons were descended from early Rhode Island families. Read more >
  8. Rowland Hazard (1829-1898)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Famous RI Families, Industry - General


    Hazard, Rowland, 1829-1898

    Rowland Hazard  was the son of Hall of Fame member Rowland Gibson Hazard and the father of Hall of Fame inductee Caroline Newton Hazard. Born in Newport, he moved at the age of four to his family’s mill village of Peace Dale which remained his principal residence until his death--as well as a principal object of his benefactions and generosity.
    After graduation from Brown University with distinction in 1849, he lived a life filled with business success, travel, political involvement, and civic activity. In addition to his direction of the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, a large woolen textile firm, he acquired a huge lead mine in Missouri in 1875 where he introduced improved methods of mining and smelting ore. Read more >
  9. James V. Healey

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Medicine & Health Care


    Jim Healey was a two-sport all-state athlete in high school and the sparkplug of a South Providence sandlot baseball team that won five age-graded championships from 1953 to 1957. 
    A fierce competitor in collegiate and professional sports, Jim was noted for his “hustle.” Fortunately for those whose cause he championed through life, that hustle and persistence only intensified.
    Jim Healey’s unprecedented accomplishments over a 45-year career in the field of developmental disabilities made him one of the nation’s leading pioneers in that arena. Read more >
  10. Charles J. McDonald, M.D.

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Medicine & Health Care

    Charles McDonald, MD, is the founding chairman of the Brown University Medical School Department of Dermatology and Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital. An internationally recognized dermatologist, Dr. McDonald has distinguished himself as a clinician, researcher, and educator and as a leader in his community and beyond.

    Dr. Read more >

  11. Colonel Martha E. McSally

    Colonel Martha E. McSally

    Categories: Law / Legal Pioneers, Military, Women

    Warwick-born and raised, Martha McSally is truly a renaissance woman. She is an Air Force Academy graduate who was the first American woman to fly in combat and was also the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron.

    No slouch at school, Martha was a Rhodes Scholarship regional finalist and a White House Fellowship National Finalist. She graduated from the Air War College, first in her class of 225 future senior military leaders. Read more >

  12. John Carter Minkins

    John Carter Minkins (1869-1959)

    Categories: African Americans, Civil Rights / Abolitionists, Literature / Writers / Newspapers

    He was the first African American editor of a white newspaper. He was a renowned speaker and defender of human rights, attacking segregation and discrimination.

    John Carter Minkins came into this life on January 29, 1869 in Norfolk, Virginia. His mother died very young and he never met his white father. Read more >
  13. Timothy

    Timothy "Tim" O'Neil (1878-1947)

    Categories: Sports - Baseball


    The genial and dedicated man who was to be crowned “The King of the Sandlots” was born in South Providence on December 14, 1878 along with his twin brother Edward. Their parents were Edward and Ann (Lynch). Tim was an enterprising paperboy in his youth, but received little formal  schooling. Fortunately he was a proficient baseball player and had great skill for organizing. Read more >
  14. Joseph R. Paolino, Sr.

    Joseph R. Paolino, Sr. (1929-2012)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists

    A lifelong resident of Rhode Island, Joseph R. Paolino’s entire career revolved around real estate, and in this important area of Rhode Island’s economy he had no peer.

    Entrepreneurial, tough-minded, persistent, and unafraid of challenge, Paolino literally changed the face of Downtown Providence real estate. Joe’s father, Anthony, helped spark young Paolino’s early interest in real estate, and at the age of seventeen Joe sold his first piece of property. Read more >

  15. Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn (1869-1956)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Government & Politics

    Patrick Henry Quinn was born in 1869 in the Warwick mill village of Phenix. He followed the successful path of many ambitious Irish-Catholics by interlacing labor union activity with legal training and Democratic Party activism within the even larger framework of his ethnicity and religion. He was a masterful speaker and seemed to belong to most of the clubs and organizations of his day.

    Quinn had a grade school education and entered the Clyde Print Works as a finisher for nine years—his childhood spent like so many others in the state as a child laborer. Read more >

  16. Michael E. Renzi

    Categories: Music (Singers, Composers), Theater, TV & Radio

    Mike Renzi, a master American pianist, arranger, and musical director, was raised in Providence and started piano lessons at the age of eight; the style was classical. Soon he added popular music in the style known as “the American songbook,” consisting of the compositions of such artists as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer. He got these renditions from his mother, who loved music and seemed to know all of the popular music of the time--both words and melodies. Mike could find all of these tunes in any musical key. Read more >

  17. John M. Sapinsley (1922-2012)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Philanthropists

    John M. Sapinsley's personal traits such as curiosity, courage, critical thinking, and kindness led him on an extraordinary life journey as a successful U.S. Navy veteran, businessman, professor, mentor, philanthropist, champion gofer, and most importantly, a loving husband to Senator Lila Sapinsely (a 2004 RI Heritage Hall of Fame Inductee), a father of four accomplished daughters and a proud grandfather of nine. Read more >

  18. Lucy Rawlings Tootell

    Lucy Rawlings Tootell (1911-2010)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Women

    For nearly a century of public life, Lucy R. Tootell was a force of energy promoting heritage education, celebrating the “South County mystique,” and preserving the architecture and memory of the past.

    Born in Jacksonville, Illinois on November 27, 1911, Lucy moved to South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with her family in 1913 before she was two years old.

    As the wife of 1924 Olympic Gold medalist and Rhode Island Hall of Fame inductee, Fred Tootell (teacher, coach, and athletic director of URI), Lucy was a champion in her field, whether it be the school classroom, or telling tales out of school in the nearly half dozen historical societies she founded in South Kingstown, Charlestown, and Richmond. Read more >

  19. Benjamin Ide Wheeler

    Benjamin Ide Wheeler (1854-1927)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Government & Politics

    Benjamin Ide Wheeler (1854-1927), joins James Burrill Angell as a significant contribution from the Ocean State to the world of university administration. Angell, born in Foster, Rhode Island, was the editor of the Providence Journal before becoming president of the University of Vermont and serving thirty-eight years as the president of the University of Michigan (1871-1909).

    Wheeler was born in Randolph, Massachusetts on July 15, 1854. He became a graduate of Brown and studied classical literature and Greek and Latin in several German universities before a thirteen-year teaching career of these subjects at Cornell University. Read more >



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