Frank McCourt


My A to Z them is You Ain’t Dead Yet and I’m researching people who found success later in life.  My F is for Frank McCourt.

Interesting Facts:

–  McCourt was born in NY but grew up in Ireland.  He stole 55 pounds from his employer to pay for the trip back to the US when he was 19.

–  He was kicked out of school at 13.  He later went into the US Army.  He used his G.I. Bill and talked his way into New York University.  He convinced them he was intelligent and a prolific reader.  He graduated at 27 with a degree in English.

–  Several years before he died McCourt said, “I don’t want a funeral services or memorials.  Let them scatter my ashes over the Shannon and pollute the river.”  This kind of cracked me up.

Road to Sucess:

–  In 1967, McCourt earned a master’s degree from Brooklyn College.  He spent 18 months at Trinity College in Dublin but failed to earn his Ph.D. before returning to New York City.

–  After retiring from teaching, McCourt published his memoir, Angela’a Ashes, in 1996 at the age of 66 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1997.  It became a bestseller and made him a millionaire.

My Take Away:

Write what you know.  Simple.  Even if it takes a long time for you to get it out of your head and on to the paper.  It is never to late to share your gifts.  Retired and not sure what to do?  Go for your dream.  As an Irish Catholic, I couldn’t wait to read Angela’s Ashes.  I found it to be a great memoir.

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