Morton Downey

Morton Downey


Morton Downey
Radio: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Radio Personality | Singer
Born Nov. 14, 1901 in Wallingford, CT
Died Oct. 25, 1985 in Palm Beach, FL

Morton Downey was an Irish tenor who became a household favorite with his radio broadcasts in the 1930s.

He is most often associated with the songs "Carolina Moon" and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." Downey claimed to have sung "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" 10,000 times and to have sung it in every state but Idaho.

Born in Wallingford, Conn., Downey achieved international fame as an Irish tenor and was billed in Ireland as "The Irish Thrush."

He toured the European circuit in the 1920s and had a network radio show in the United States in the 1930s.

Downey earned as much as $250,000 a year during the height of his singing career and later became an entrepreneur. Among his business interests was part ownership of the Stork Club's cosmetic market.

Downey retired to Florida, where he owned one of the nation's better known classic car collections. He was one of the last surviving friends of Rose Kennedy, mother of President Kennedy.

He had five children by his first wife, the late Barbara Bennett. His second wife was Peggy Schulze.

He died at age 85.

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