John Concannon, an Irish-American journalist and a former public relations guru for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, has died. He was 86.
Concannon, who was born in Bronx and attended Monroe High School, began his career at the New York Public Library, where he “studied everything he could get,” said his daughter, Maryhelen Foley.
He got his start in journalism as a mail boy for Collier’s magazine and eventually wrote the publication’s “What’s New” column. He later became a financial editor at Newsweek, and served as president of the New York Financial Writers Association. He went on to write for the Irish Echo and was co-author of the book “The Irish American Who’s Who.”
Concannon was “very proud” of his Irish heritage, and served as the PR director for the parade from 1966 to 1985, Foley said.
“There is no greater personal satisfaction than in knowing you have worked for the betterment of your ethnic group,” he once told a newspaper.
He and his wife of more than 50 years, Bridget, raised their two daughters, Maryhelen and Allanah, in Clason Point. The couple later moved to Flushing, Queens. Bridget Concannon died in 2006.
He died March 3 in a hospital in Austin, Texas, where he had been living with Maryhelen.
He is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A wake will be held tomorrow at the Martin A. Gleason Funeral Home in Flushing from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. A Mass will be celebrated at St. Andrew Avellino Church on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. before a burial at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in Bronx.