Who was Al Smith?


Al Smith was an Irish American Catholic from an immigrant family who grew up in the lower east side of Manhattan, New York.

He made history by becoming the first Irish American politician ever to be elected as governor of a state, and went on to introduce laws and policies that were revolutionary in helping the working-class people of New York.

He ran for president as the Democratic nominee in 1928 but lost to Republican Herbert Hoover after receiving a huge backlash because of his Catholic faith.

In this report, we hear from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, author Robert Caro, former New York governor George Pataki, historian Robert Golway and historian Elizabeth Perry, about the life and political career of Alfred E Smith.

RTÉ Radio thanks the Archdioces Of New York and the Al Smith Memorial Foudnation, for providing the material to compile this report.