Christopher John Brennan (1 November 1870 – 5 October 1932) was an Australian poet and scholar.
In 1914, he produced his major work, Poems: 1913. After Brennan’s marriage broke up in 1922, he went to live with Violet Singer, the ‘Vie’ of his later poems, and, as a result of both his divorce and increasing drunkenness, he was removed from his position at the University in June 1925. The death of Violet Singer in an accident left him distraught, and he spent most of his remaining years in poverty. Brennan died in 1932, after developing cancer.
Brennan was not a lyric poet. It was not emotion that drove his work, rather, it displays at its best an architectural, and mythological resonance that informs it. His chief work was designed to be read as a single poem, complete, yet formed of smaller works. It covers not only the basic details of his life, such as his wooing of his wife in the early portions, but also human profundities through mythology, as in the central Lilith section, and the Wanderer sequence. As such, it is among the most widely discussed works of Australian poetry, judging from the prominence of criticism about it and Brennan.
Brennan influenced many of Australian the writers of his generation and who succeeded him. In remembrance, the Fellowship of Australian Writers established the Christopher Brennan Award which is presented annually to an Australian poet, recognising a lifetime achievement in poetry.
Brennan Hall and Library at St John’s College within the University of Sydney, the Christopher Brennan building in the University’s Arts Faculty, and the main library at Saint Ignatius’ College, Rivervieware named in his honour.
J. Keirn Brennan 24 November 1873 – 4 February 1948)
Joining ASCAP as a charter member in 1914, his musical collaborators included Ernest Ball, Rudolf Friml, Billy Hill, Karl Hajos, Harry Akst, Walter Donaldson, Werner Janssen, and Maurice Rubens.
His song compositions include “Dear Little Boy of Mine”, “Goodbye, Good Luck, God Bless You”, “Empty Saddles”, “Turn Back the Universe”, “When My Boy Comes Home”, “A Little Bit of Love”, “My Bird of Paradise”, “I’ll Follow the Trail”, “You Hold My Heart”, and “Ireland Is Ireland to Me”.
Thomas Francis Brennan (6 October 1855 – 20 March 1916) was an American Catholic bishop who served as the first Catholic bishop of Dallas from 1891 to 1893.
Brennan was born at Tipperary, Ireland, and ordained to the priesthood at Brixen-Tyrol on July 4, 1880. He was consecrated Bishop of Dallas at Erie, Pennsylvania, on April 5, 1891, by Bishop Tobias Mullen. Two years later, on February 1, 1893, he was transferred to the titular see of Utilla, and was made Auxiliary to Bishop Thomas James Power of St. John’s, Newfoundland. He was called to Rome in December 1904, and was given the titular see of Cesarea on October 7, 1905. The last years of his life were spent in the Basilian monastery at Grottaferrata, near Rome, where he died at age 60.
Thomas Brennan (July 1853 – 19 December 1912), born in Beauparc, County Meath, the founder and joint first secretary of the Irish National Land League. Following his release from Kilkenny Gaol he left for Omaha in the United States, where he had a successful career as an attorney, in real estate and in insurance broking.
Joseph Payne Brennan (December 20, 1918 – January 28, 1990)
Joseph Payne Brennan was an American writer of fantasy and horror fiction, and also a poet. Brennan’s first professional sale came in December 1940 with the publication of the poem, “When Snow Is Hung”, which appeared in the Christian Science Monitor Home Forum, and he continued writing poetry up until the time of his death.
Walter Brennan (1894–1974)
In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering.
While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays. He worked some in vaudeville and also in various jobs such as clerking in a bank and as a lumberjack. He toured in small musical comedy companies before entering the military in 1917.
After his war service he went to Guatemala and raised pineapples, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he speculated in real estate. A few jobs as a film extra came his way beginning in 1923, then some work as a stuntman. He eventually achieved speaking roles, going from bit parts to substantial supporting parts in scores of features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938.
In 1936 his role in Come and Get It (1936) won him the very first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He would win it twice more in the decade, and be nominated for a fourth. His range was enormous. He could play sophisticated businessmen, con artists, local yokels, cowhands and military officers with apparent equal ease.
An accident in 1932 cost him most of his teeth, and he most often was seen in eccentric rural parts, often playing characters much older than his actual age. His career never really declined, and in the 1950s he became an even more endearing and familiar figure in several television series, most famously “The Real McCoys” (1957).
He died in 1974 of emphysema, a beloved figure in movies and TV, the target of countless comic impressionists, and one of the best and most prolific actors of his time.
Louis Brennan CB (28 January 1852 – 17 January 1932) was an Irish-Australian mechanical engineer and inventor.
Brennan was born in Castlebar, Ireland, and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1861 with parents. He started his career as a watchmaker but eventually went on to invent the idea of a steerable torpedo in 1874, from observing that if a thread is pulled on a reel at an angle with suitable leverage, the reel will move away from the thread side. He patented the Brennan Torpedo in 1877.
Brennan went to England in 1880 and brought his invention before the War Office and the patent was eventually bought for a sum believed to be more than £100,000. In 1887 Brennan was appointed superintendent of the Brennan torpedo factory, and was consulting engineer 1896–1907.
In 1903 he patented a gyroscopically-balanced monorail system that he designed for military use; he successfully demonstrated the system on 10 November 1909 but fears that the gyroscopes might fail prevented adoption of the system for widespread use.
From 1916 to 1919 Brennan served in the munitions inventions department. From 1919 to 1926 he was engaged by the air ministry in aircraft research work at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and gave much time to the invention of a helicopter. The government spent a large sum of money on it, but in 1926 the air ministry gave up working on it, much to Brennan’s disappointment.
In January 1932 he was knocked down by a car at Montreux, Switzerland, and died on 17 January 1932. He had married Anna Quinn (died 1931) on 10 September 1892. He was survived by a son and a daughter. Brennan was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1892, and was foundation member of the National Academy of Ireland in 1922.
Brennan was buried at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, London in an unmarked plot numbered 2454 that is opposite the Chapel record office.