The WALKS OF LIFE AWARDS OF THE IRISH AMERICAN ARCHIVES SOCIETY are annual awards given to honor Cleveland citizens of Irish heritage. The Irish American Archives Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by the late THOMAS F. CAMPBELL, Professor of History at CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY from 1966 until his retirement in 1993. A scholar who specialized in Cleveland history and immigration studies, Dr. Campbell invited a group of community members to assist him in forming an organization to support the preservation of the history of the Irish in northeast Ohio. In fulfillment of its mission, IAAS has sponsored a newsletter, website, podcast, talks, displays, publications, and heritage events and supports the collection and preservation of papers, documents, photographs and memorabilia of individuals and families of Irish descent and the records of organizations and institutions that have influenced the growth and development of the Irish American community in northeast Ohio.
In 1997, the Irish American Archives Society began bestowing annual Walks of Life Awards, honoring up to five individuals each year. The Walks of Life Awards dinner soon became the Society’s signature program. The Walks of Life Awards recognize living Clevelanders and northeast Ohioans of Irish heritage whose attainments in their chosen and diverse Walks of Life have been truly remarkable and stand as an inspiration to others. The awards preserve for posterity a record of achievement. Contributions in varied spheres of work and service have been honored, encompassing business, safety services, justice and government, the Church, manufacturing and the building trades, social services, philanthropy, entertainment, and education.
Daniel Brennan and David Patrick Ryan