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Introduction: Author Peter Quinn

Novelist, political historian, and foremost chronicler of New York City.

Peter Quinn headshot

Peter Quinn joined Time Inc. as the chief speechwriter in 1985 and retired as corporate editorial director for Time Warner at the end of 2007. He received a B.A. from Manhattan College in 1969, an M.A. in history from Fordham University in 1974 and completed all the requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation. He was awarded a Ph.D., honoris causa, by Manhattan College in 2002.

In 1979, Quinn was appointed to the staff of Governor Hugh Carey as chief speechwriter. He continued in that role under Governor Mario Cuomo, helping craft the Governor’s 1984 Democratic Convention speech and his address on religion and politics at Notre Dame University.

His 1994 novel Banished Children of Eve (Viking/Penguin) won a 1995 American Book Award. His second novel, Hour of the Cat (Overlook), set in Berlin and New York on the eve of WWII, was published in June 2005. Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America (Overlook), a collection of non-fiction pieces, was published in February 2007. All three books are in print. His next novel, The Man Who Never Returned, is currently available from The Overlook Press.

Quinn co-wrote the script for the 1987 television documentary “McSorley’s New York,” which was awarded a New York-area Emmy for “Outstanding Historical Programming.” He has participated as a guest commentator in several PBS documentaries, including “The Irish in America;” “New York: A Documentary Film;” “The Life and Times of Stephen Foster,” as well as the Academy Award-nominated film, “The Passion of Sister Rose.” He was an advisor on Martin Scorcese’s film “Gangs of New York.” He helped conceive and script the six-part documentary “The Road to the White House,” which aired on TG4, in Ireland, in 2009.

Along with his book writing, Quinn was the editor of The Recorder: The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society from 1986 to 1993. He has published articles and reviews in The New York Times, Commonweal, America, American Heritage, The Catholic Historical Review, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The L.A. Times, Eiré-Ireland, and in numerous other newspapers and journals.

At present, Quinn is on the advisory boards of the American Irish Historical Society, NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, the Tenement Museum and the New York City Landmark Conservancy.

Married to Kathleen Burbank Quinn, he and his wife are the parents of Genevieve Barry Quinn, 23, and Daniel Ryan Quinn, 20. They reside in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.