The Redemption of the Lion of Manhattan

Born in Cork in 1841, Richard ‘Boss’ Croker grew up in New York. He worked his way through the murky world of municipal politics (even standing trial for murder in 1874) to reach the top of Tammany Hall in 1886. While he had a modest record as an elected representative, his real power was as head of the Democratic Party’s major machine in the city. As ‘boss’, Croker wielded enormous influence over New York’s political offices and a panoply of patronage networks until his final departure from Tammany in 1902. He retired to England an extremely wealthy man and eventually settled in Ireland, purchasing a property of over 550 acres at Glencairn in south County Dublin.

After decades of working on her family genealogy, author Kathy Caton discovered Richard Croker was her great, great, grand uncle. After extensive research, she discovered many redemptive qualities in this so-called “crime boss,” as she found most scholarly accounts focus on his negative influence and corruption of New York politics. Her book investigates and illustrates his character in depth, and ultimately finds him to have some significant endearing attributes while it dives head on into his personal life and his political career.

Receiving her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Fredonia State University and her Master’s in Arts Education from Stony Brook University, Kathy Caton has been recognized as an innovative creator-educator and now a composer and writer. She holds active teaching certifications from a medley of states in both theatre and music education. Caton also has had the pleasure of studying as well as working alongside notables such as Harry Chapin, Peter Perret, Sir David Willcocks, Paul Leddington Wright and Ted Vigil.