The Irish Echo
By Ray O’Hanlon
December 28th, 2011
Pete Hamill, the veteran journalist and prolific author, is the Irish Echo’s Irish American of the Year. Hamill succeeds Congressman Richard Neal in the role and by doing so becomes the fifth person to win the accolade since it was revived in 2007.
The winners prior to Rep. Neal were author Colum McCann, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Hamill, a Brooklyn native, is the eldest of seven children of Irish immigrant parents from Belfast. He grew up in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood.
Hamill has reported from a number of countries around the world during his long career in newspapers but is most closely associated with his work at two of the city’s famous tabloid dailies, the Daily News and New York Post.
The author of a number of acclaimed books, including the autobiographical “A Drinking Life,” and the novel “Forever,” Hamill is viewed by many as one of the ultimate experts on the world’s ultimate city.
His latest work of fiction, “Tabloid City,” was published earlier this year but a lesser known work, carried out in conjunction with other members of his family, and privately published, is entitled “Anne Devlin Hamill – An Irish-American Odyssey,” and tells the life story of the Hamill family matriarch, Anne Devlin.
Hamill, the father of two daughters, lives in Manhattan with his wife, the writer Fukiko Aoki. He will be formally inducted as the Echo’s Irish American of the Year at an event in the New Year.