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John F. Fitzgerald Collection

Identifier: SC005-FITZ

Scope and Contents

This collection mostly holds materials documenting the business and political career of John F. Fitzgerald. There are thirty-nine scrapbooks dating from 1896 to 1925 containing newspaper clippings, which mostly document Fitzgerald’s political career. The scrapbooks are in poor condition and this was noted in correspondence dating to when the materials were received. Additionally, there are political cartoons and loose newspaper clippings as well as copies of speeches and public addresses. The collection also includes photographs of Fitzgerald at public events and personal family photographs. Of note, there is one of Fitzgerald attending the Holy Cross football game against Boston College in 1921.

Finally, the collection holds materials pertaining to the newspaper, The Republic. This was a weekly newspaper published in Boston for Irish Catholic Americans. The first issue was published in 1882. Fitzgerald was a publisher in the early twentieth century and during his tenure, the paper’s circulation grew rapidly. The collection contains twelve account books dating from 1902 to 1919. There is also a publishing stock book that dates to 1907. Bound copies of the paper were also donated and these can be found in the Special Collection Rare Book collection.


  • 1896
  • 1906-1914

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Materials believed to be under copyright or other restrictions are available for limited noncommercial, educational and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States copyright law and with proper citation. Please note that the College of the Holy Cross may not hold the rights to all items in this collection. Users assume responsibility for identifying all copyright holders and for determining whether permission is needed to make any use of the content. For permission under rights held by the College, please contact

Biographical Note

John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 11, 1863. He was educated at Boston Latin School before attending Boston College. He enrolled at Harvard Medical School for one year, but withdrew following the death of his father in 1885. He became a banker and obtained a position at the Boston Custom from 1886 to 1891.

In 1889, Fitzgerald married his second cousin, Mary Josephine Hannon. The couple had six children, three girls and three boys. Their eldest child, Rose (1890-1995) married Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. in 1914. The Kennedy family was another powerful political family in Boson. Fitzgerald’s grandchildren included the well-known politicians John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.

Fitzgerald’s political career began in 1891 when he was elected to the Boston Common Council. A year later in 1892, he became a member of the Massachusetts Senate and in 1894, he was elected to the United States Congress for the 9th district. Fitzgerald served in Congress from 1895 to 1901. In December 1905, he was elected Mayor of Boston and was the first American-born Irish-Catholic to be elected to that office. He served two terms from 1906 to 1908 and then from 1910 to 1914. He was succeeded by James Michael Curley. Fitzgerald returned to Congress in 1919 but his term was cut short when his opponent, Peter F. Tague successfully contested the election. After unsuccessful campaigns for Senator and Governor, Fitzgerald resumed his business activities. However, he assisted his grandson, John F. Kennedy in developing his campaign strategy for his election to Congress in 1946.

Fitzgerald died in Boston on October 2, 1950.


23.48 Cubic Feet (53 flat boxes)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Note

Materials in this collection as well as a book of his letters and speeches, bound copies of the newspaper, The Republic, a bronze statue of Napoleon and plaster mask of John Fitzgerald were donated to the library by his son, Thomas and his granddaughter, Marian Mullen in 1955. This gift was facilitated by Fr. Joseph E. Mullen, S.J., then a faculty member. Additional items were given at a later date but details are unknown. The items in the collection were maintained by the library until they were transferred to Archives and Special Collections

Related Materials

Bound copies of the newspaper, The Republic (F73.1 +R47) and the book, Letters and Speeches of the Honorable John F. Fitzgerald (F70.F5 A3) may be found in the Special Collections Book collection. The bronze statue of Napoleon and the plaster mask of Fitzgerald are located in the Special Collections Realia collection.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Revised November 2019

Repository Details

Part of the Distinctive Collections Repository

One College Street
Worcester MA 01610