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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 won a 1995 American Book Award. Looking for Jimmy: In Search of Irish America, a collection of non-fiction pieces, was published in 2007. National Book Award-winner Colum McCann has summed up Quinn's trilogy of historical detective novels -- Hour of the Cat (2005), The Man Who Never Returned (2010), and Dry Bones (2013) -- as "generous and agile and profound."

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 Gluckman Ireland House, and the Tenement Museum. He is a co-founder of Irish American Writers & Artists.

Married to Kathleen Burbank Quinn, he and his wife (a fellow native of the Bronx) reside in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. They are the parents of two grown children.