This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (July 2016)
Peter Paul O'Dwyer (June 29, 1907 – June 23, 1998) was an Irish-born American politician and lawyer and the younger brother of Mayor William O'Dwyer and father to New York City lawyer Brian O'Dwyer.
O'Dwyer In 1968
|President of the New York City Council|
|Preceded by||Sanford Garelik|
|Succeeded by||Carol Bellamy|
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
O'Dwyer was born in Bohola, County Mayo, Ireland, and emigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1925. He became a United States citizen in 1930. During World War II he was a staunchly vehement opponent of American involvement in the war and traveled the United States (until Pearl Harbor) to speak with and rally pro-neutrality (particularly Irish-American) groups. As a lawyer some of his more renowned cases were those involving people accused of Communist activities. Active in the National Lawyers Guild, he became its president in 1947 and served on its national board from 1948-51. He supported both constitutionalist and Irish republican initiatives. His influence protected several Irish Republican Army gunmen from deportation, including "The Fort Worth Five" and Vincent Conlon.
Active in New York City politics, O'Dwyer ran for political office several times. In 1948, he narrowly lost an election for the U.S. House of Representatives to incumbent Jacob K. Javits. He was elected to the city council from a seat representing all of Manhattan for a term from 1963-65. He also gained election to the position of New York City Council President, which was then one of three citywide elected positions. He served in that capacity from 1974 to 1977. In ten other races he was unsuccessful.
In 1968, in opposition to U. S. involvement in the Vietnam War, he ran and won the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senator from New York. Again he found his candidacy opposing popular Republican Party incumbent Jacob Javits and again O'Dwyer lost in the general election. In 1970, he ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator against Ted Sorensen, Richard Ottinger and Max McCarthy, but was defeated by Ottinger. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate that was won by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1976.
O'Dwyer was the youngest sibling (of 11). His eldest brother was New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer, who was 17 years his senior. The O'Dwyers were maternal uncles of lawyer and activist Frank Durkan. Paul O'Dwyer died six days before his 91st birthday in 1998. His son, Brian, is a New York City lawyer and former national President of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
- Clines, Francis X. (June 25, 1998). "Paul O'Dwyer, New York's Liberal Battler For Underdogs and Outsiders, Dies at 90". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- Staten Island Advance. "Our borough historians: The past is their passion". SILive.com. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- "Paul O'Dwyer speaks about the 10th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes". NYU. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
- Paul O'Dwyer Papers at Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University Special Collections
|Party political offices|
James B. Donovan
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New York
| New York City Council, Manhattan At-large
| President of the New York City Council
|| Manhattan Borough Historian
1986 - 1990