Ireland House Oral History Collection

John J. Fallon

John J. Fallon, 16 November 2005. Photo by Marion R. Casey.

Created/Published:

16 November 2005

2 hours, 5 minutes

Preferred Citation:

Ireland House Oral History Collection, Archives of Irish America, New York University

Biographical Note:

John J. Fallon (b. Mountbellew, Co. Galway, Ireland, 1919) emigrated to the United States in 1929 and settled with his family in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York. His father, Anthony Fallon, worked for Purdy & Purdy, a group of admiralty lawyers, and his mother, Bridget, found work as a legal stenographer.

Educated in Brooklyn parochial and public schools, Fallon was drafted into the army in 1941 when he was twenty-one. He served in North Africa and Italy with the United States Army as part of the 9th and 88th Infantry Divisions until 1945, primarily as a Warrant Officer. Fallon took advantage of the G.I. Bill upon his return to the United States, enrolling as an undergraduate at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York. Later, he received a Masters of Education from New York University.

In 1954 John Fallon began teaching English at Bay Ridge High School, one of a handful of single sex public schools in the New York City system, located at 67th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. Fallon became its Principal in 1979 and retired when the school was closed in 1985.

Fallon belonged to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Catholic Teachers Association and the American Irish Teachers Association of which he was President. He is a member of several ethnic organizations including the Galway Men’s Association, the New York Irish History Roundtable, the American Conference for Irish Studies, and the Irish American Heritage and Culture Week Committee of the Department of Education of the City of New York.

Married since 1951 to the former Gina Sberna whom he met while stationed in Italy during the second world war, John Fallon is the father of three children and lives in Queens. He has written human interest articles for New York Newsday and The Brooklyn Eagle, as well as the novel A Better Deed, a fictionalized account of Netterville Lodge in Mountbellew, Co. Galway during the evictions of Mrs. Gerrard, published in 1995.

Click on image to enlarge.

  1. Principal John J. Fallon, 1979. Photo from Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.
  2. Letter to Class of 1979 from Principal Fallon. From Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.
  3. Bay Ridge High School Senior Class Portrait, 1979. From Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.

Interviewers:

Photo Credit:

  1. John J. Fallon, 16 November 2005. Photo by Marion R. Casey.
  2. Principal John J. Fallon, 1979. Photo from Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.
  3. Letter to Class of 1979 from Principal Fallon. From Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.
  4. Bay Ridge High School Senior Class Portrait, 1979. From Bay Ridge High School yearbook, courtesy of John J. Fallon.