DALEY, MARY DOWLING (July 20, 1923 - February 12, 2010) was a freelance writer who helped create and lead Peoples and Cultures, a group dedicated to fostering mutual respect among Cleveland’s ethnic groups. She was born in Lakewood, OH, to Thomas and Florence (Cox) Dowling; her father was the circulation manager of THE CLEVELAND PRESS

As a child, Daley often moved around, growing up in both the Cleveland and New York City areas. After graduating from Trinity College in Washington DC, she married Bill Daley and lived on the east coast. 

Mary Daley was active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, helping to organize a rent strike in an Asheville, NC, housing project. Her commitment to justice led her to move to SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH, in 1968 because of its pioneering drive for integration. She would call the city home for the rest of her life. 

Daley worked within the greater Cleveland area to promote intercultural dialogue and learning. In 1979, she self-published Around the World in Cleveland, a coloring book illustrated by Cleveland high school students showing the diversity of the city’s population. She also created Peoples and Cultures, an organization that sponsored  exchanges of hospitality, foods, crafts, folk dances and other cultural practices among ethnic neighborhoods. In 1986 she came upon a set of ancient Irish Brehon Laws in the JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY library while working on another research project. She compiled a whimsical sampling of the most fascinating examples into a book titled Irish Laws, which was published in 1989. She was awarded the 2004 WALKS OF LIFE AWARD from the Irish American Archives Society. 

Mary Daley had a daughter, Katie, and three sons: Bill, Tom, and Walter. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 86.


Daniel Brennan and David Patrick Ryan


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