Who deserves a site?
Hugh O'Brien

Hugh O'Brien
Mayor of Boston, Publisher

Hugh O'Brien was Boston’s first Irish-born Mayor, serving four consecutive one-year terms from 1885-1888.  Born in County Cork, his family emigrated to Boston in 1832, where they settled in the Fort Hill area.  He learned the printing trade at the Boston Courier newspaper, and at fifteen became foreman of a printing office on School Street.  He launched a publication called Shipping and Commercial List and became a successful businessman.

O'Brien launched his political career in 1775 on the Board of Aldermen, then served as Mayor for four terms, before losing to Thomas N. Hart.  While in office, he presided over the creation of the city's Emerald Necklace park system and laid the cornerstone for the Boston Public Library at Copley Square.

He was a prominent supporter of orphans, and at his funeral at Holy Cross Cathedral, the Republic newspaper wrote, "The largest and most conspicuous delegation was that from the St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum, 200 little children all dressed alike, who sat immediately behind the family."

In 1888 Irish-American sculptor John Donoghue created a bust of O'Brien that is currently in the Abbey Room at Boston Public Library.  He is buried at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline.


Deserves a Site