Irish Woman 2010
Ann Regan is the editor in chief at the Minnesota Historical Society Press, where she has worked for over thirty years with scores of talented authors to produce books ranging from bibliographies to memoirs, monographs to short stories collections and true crime titles. Her specialties now are memoir and American Indian history.
She is the author of a history of the state's Irish that was first published in 1981 in They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State's Ethnic Groups; it was revised and published as Irish in Minnesota in 2002. The essay traces the little-known story of successful Irish farmers on the Midwestern frontier. It also explores how the Irish gave St. Paul, where German immigrants outnumbered them, the Irish identity we now celebrate.
Ann's passion is publishing regional history, books that help us see the stories hidden in familiar places all around us, because she believes they help us to live richer lives and make more informed decisions.
She grew up in Billings, Montana, the daughter of Thomas Patrick and Ann Kennedy Regan, where the only thing she knew about being Irish was that it was good. She learned more as she edited Marvin O'Connell's magisterial biography, John Ireland and the American Catholic Church, and then Bridget Connelly's Forgetting Ireland, a memoir uncovering the suppressed history of the Connemaras in western Minnesota.
Since 1995, Ann has been a volunteer at the Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning School (formerly Webster Magnet), sharing her love of books by listening to children read aloud-many of them the sons and daughters of immigrants.