Sunday 16 June 2019

Everything you need to know about the new US Ambassador to Ireland, billionaire Edward F Crawford


The president’s man: Edward F Crawford’s family hail from Ireland and he is heavily involved in the Irish-US community
The president’s man: Edward F Crawford’s family hail from Ireland and he is heavily involved in the Irish-US community Newsdesk Newsdesk

Like many of US President Donald Trump's political appointments, the new US Ambassador to Ireland is a wealthy and successful businessman from the corporate world.

Billionaire manufacturing mogul Edward F Crawford will soon make the US Ambassador's residence in the Phoenix Park his home.

Mr Crawford's appointment follows an almost two-year vacancy in the post after Kevin O'Malley stepped down in January 2017.

The businessman is a significant Republican Party financial donor and has been an ardent supporter of Mr Trump since he put his name forward for the 2016 US presidential race. He has been long tipped to be appointed to the position.

Like his predecessor, Mr Crawford's roots are steeped in Irish heritage and he is very active among Irish American community in the United States.

His two grandparents were born in Cork but emigrated to America in search of work and a better life. His grandmother was a McCarthy from Newmarket and his grandfather was a Healy.

In 1948, Mr Crawford's father, who worked as an electrician, and mother, along with his two brothers set out for the west coast of America to make California their home.

However, their truck broke down in Ohio and, after spending some time in the state, they decided to settle in Cleveland.

Mr Crawford eventually moved out of home and married his wife Mary who he has one son, Mathew, with.

In the 1960s, he attended night school at John Carroll University in Ohio while working in sales for local company Inland Steel.

He went on to set up his own steel company with a friend before branching out into other areas of manufacturing.

Today, Mr Crawford, who describes himself as a "serial entrepreneur", is the chairman and chief executive of ParkOhio Holdings Corp, a major manufacturer of technology components.

The company had more than $2bn in revenue last year and employs more than 4,800 people in the US, China, Japan, India, Australia and Ireland.

He is also CEO of Beech Technology Systems, which manufactures parts for military equipment, aeronautics and commercial industries.

Along with his successful business career, Mr Crawford has also dedicated his time to civic and political life.

He helped establish the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland and was the first non-Mayo person to be named person of the year by the Mayo Association, which has a powerful presence in the Irish community in Cleveland.

At the 2014 award ceremony, Mr Crawford said: "I think it's a wonderful, wonderful decision by the Mayo Society to step out and decide to be more inclusive here.

"There are other great counties in Ireland. I think it gives the Mayo Society the opportunity to reach out to a broader group of individuals that, in one way or another, have contributed to the Irish sense of themselves."

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended the Cleveland Mayo Association Awards in 2012, where he was photographed with Mr Crawford, who was attending as a local supporter at the time.

Irish Independent

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