New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Ned Irish

Ned Irish (Executive.  Born, Lake George, NY, May 6, 1905; died, Venice, FL, Jan. 21, 1982.)  Edward Simmons Irish didn’t invent basketball, but he sure helped make it popular.  After working his way through the University of Pennsylvania, Irish came to New York in 1928 as a sportswriter for the Evening Telegram.  In 1930, he acquired a part-time position as publicity director for the New York Giants and the N.F.L., positions he held until 1940.  It was in 1933, while covering a C.C.N.Y.-Manhattan game at the Jaspers’ cramped gym, that he decided the sport needed an arena like Madison Square Garden.  On Dec. 29, 1934, he staged his first college basketball doubleheader at the Garden and drew a crowd of 16,180.  By 1940, the Garden was hosting a couple of dozen doubleheaders each year.  Irish served two terms as president of the Garden (1943-46 and 1960-69), was the founder of the New York Knickerbockers and, in 1946, helped to form the league that became the N.B.A.  He was Knicks president until he retired July 1, 1974.  Ned Irish was noted for his integrity, honesty and fierce loyalty to his friends and employees.  Most of all, it was his vision that pulled basketball to center stage.

Post to Twitter

Please leave comments, edits or additions here.

*

About This Dictionary

The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

Sort by Last Name

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Support n-yhs

Help us support our sports database and other collections.

About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

Submission Form

* (denotes required field)

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy