Paul J. Dolan, Chairman/CEO of the Cleveland Indians, has been chosen to receive the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland 2016 Person of the Year Award. The Society promotes cultural, charitable, scientific and/or literary exchange between the United States and Ireland, with particular emphasis on County Mayo.
Born in Chardon, Ohio, Dolan is one of six children of Larry and Eva Dolan. He attended high school at Gilmour Academy and received a B.A. from St. Lawrence University. Not surprisingly, he played baseball while there. Following that he earned a Juris Doctorate at Notre Dame Law School in 1983.
In 2000 he was hired by the Cleveland Indians as a Vice President and General Counsel. Four years later he became the Team President. In 2011 he was named to his current position.
Paul’s cousin James is CEO of Madison Square Garden Co., who own the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Some of Paul’s other involvements are too numerous to mention but include: Independent Director of Dix & Eaton Inc., Director of The J. M. Smucker Company and Director of Cablevision Systems Corporation. He is also involved with many philanthropic and civic boards throughout the Northeast Ohio community and supports many causes. He will be honored at the Society’s Annual Banquet and Ball on October 15, 2016 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Being named Mayo Person of the Year has inspired him to learn more about his Irish roots. His wife, Karen (Rath), was raised in the West Park area of Cleveland. “She’s more Irish than I am, which means my boys are more Irish than I am. My running joke is whenever you run into someone from that neighborhood it doesn’t take them long to find out how they’re related. Receiving the Mayo Person of the Year Award is the beginning of a personal journey for me and it really inspires me to better understand my family’s Irish history.”
Karen ni Rath was raised in West Park, the daughter of John “Jack” J. Rath and Jeanne M. McNeely and attended Our Lady of Angels Grade School and St. Joseph Academy. She is the eldest of three sisters, Janet Colaluca, Bratenahl and Amy, New York City, and three brothers, Bryan, Cleveland, Dan, Strongsville and the late Kevin Charles (K.C.). Her family was active in the Irish Community where they were members of the West Side Irish American Club when it was on Madison Avenue.
After graduating from John Carroll University in University Heights. She was introduced to Paul’s dad, Larry Dolan, who was developing a shopping area in Chardon, Ohio, where his law firm was located and Paul was a partner. “I had worked in the computer industry but had always wanted to have a retail business. I had been introduced to Larry so I presented him with a business plan for a clothing store in Chardon and ended up also operating one of his bookstores there.” Larry told her his son Paul had an interest in reading and asked if perhaps he (Paul) might help out. She had known Paul casually and they started dating. Larry was a good matchmaker as they ended up marrying in November of 1989.
Karen’s grandfather Frank Rath, born in Alsace-Lorraine (Austria), was an Executive Chef at the Pick-Carter Hotel. Grandmother Bridget C. Geilty was born on Achill, County Mayo. Her father, John “Jack” Rath, is a retired long-time management employee of General Electric. Her late mother, Jeanne M. ni McNeely, had County Clare roots. Karen’s maternal grandmother was a Regan.
“I grew up being very proud of being Irish. Family is very important and I think that’s kind of the philosophy of the Irish.”
The Dolans belong to St. Joan of Arc Parish in Geauga County. They have two sons, Jack, (23) Washington DC and Peter, (20) a junior at the University of Michigan.