Crosbie, George (1864–1934), newspaper proprietor and politician, was born 7 May 1864 at Cork, the second son of four children of Thomas Crosbie of Waterloo Place, Cork, editor of the Cork Examiner, and Marianne (or perhaps Mary Anne) Crosbie (née Callaghan), daughter of John Joe Callaghan of Tivoli, Cork. Educated at St Vincent's seminary, Patrick's Place, Cork, and at Tullabeg College, King's County (1878–81), he visited the USA in the early 1880s and contemplated emigrating. In the event, however, he joined the family-owned Cork Examiner as a journalist, quickly making a name for himself in his prominent support of the Land League campaign. He was admitted to King's Inns in Dublin in 1886 and was called to the bar in 1889, but never practised. Instead in 1889 he took over the editorship of the newspaper and ten years later, after the death of his father, he became chairman of Thomas Crosbie & Co. Ltd, which owned it. With Denis McGrath he converted the morning paper into a thriving and profitable business and astutely purchased adjacent property, which allowed him to expand the paper's premises from the original site. The printing presses required for the introduction of linotype were installed in 1899, 1918, and 1929.
A friend of John Redmond (qv), John Dillon (qv), and Joseph Devlin (qv), he was a strong supporter of the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) under Redmond, and this support was reflected in the bias of the newspaper under his management. In 1909, at the behest of Redmond, he unsuccessfully contested the Cork City parliamentary constituency for the IPP. Despite his political allegiances, it is claimed that Crosbie's Cork Examiner was the only major Irish newspaper to condemn the executions of the leaders of the 1916 rising. In 1919 the newspaper was closed down by British forces for publishing the prospectus of the Dáil Éireann national loan. During the civil war, anti-treaty forces occupied the building and produced a newspaper edited by Frank Gallagher (qv) before destroying the presses in August 1922. Owing to threats against his life and the malicious destruction of his house (formerly the home of Sir John Arnott (qv)), Crosbie was forced to leave Cork; he lived in France until order was re-established. He was on close terms with the Cumann na nGaedheal government and stood unsuccessfully in the seanad elections of 1925; he was elected at a by-election in November 1931, but lost his seat at the election of the same year, only to be elected again at another by-election, caused by the resignation of Alfie Byrne (qv), in January 1932. He remained a senator until his death in 1934.
A founding member and president for seventeen years of the Cork Industrial Development Association, he was instrumental in the purchase by Furness Withy of Rushbrooke docks in Cork harbour (1917) and in the establishment of the Ford factory at Cork (1918). In 1932 he promoted the ill-fated Irish Industrial and Agricultural Fair at Cork and for many years was a member of the Cork technical education committee. The Cork Industrial Development Association developed into a nationwide organisation as the Irish Industrial Development Association, which established the Irish national trademark. Intensely proud of his city, Crosbie was a founding member and director of the Cork Improved Dwellings Company, a pioneer concern which provided housing accommodation in Cork.
Crosbie was a member of the Institute of Journalists for forty-four years and president of the Press Association (1910–11), honorary chairman of the Munster district of the Institute of Journalists, and honorary vice-president of the Irish and British Institute (1934). Widely travelled, he was a keen yachtsman, a highly skilled carpenter, a council member of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, and a member of the Cork Catholic Young Men's Society. His lifetime's collection of works of art – he was a fine judge of painting – was destroyed during the civil war.
In 1895 Crosbie married the eighteen-year-old Eva Hennessy (d. 1927), daughter of a Kenmare merchant. They had two sons and four daughters, including Commander George Crosbie Jr. In May 1931 he married his second wife Mai. Crosbie died 27 November 1934, after an illness of three weeks, at his home, Knockrea Park, Douglas Road, Cork.
The eldest son of his first marriage, Thomas Crosbie (1896–1973), newspaper proprietor, was born 23 October 1896 at Cork. He was educated at the Cork CBC and Clongowes Wood College (1910–12), then spent a year at the King's Inns and a year in the accounts department of Messrs Dwyer & Co. Ltd, Cork, before joining the family-owned newspaper, the Cork Examiner, in 1914. Early in his career he became editor of the Cork Weekly Examiner and later a director and chairman of Thomas Crosbie & Co. Ltd (1934–70). Reputed to know the workings of every machine in the printing house as well as the operatives did, he likewise kept abreast of the newspaper's editorial content. One of his greatest challenges was the successful management of the newspaper through the lean years of the second world war. Although not politically aligned, he played a quiet but important role in influencing affairs in Cork city. In later years he became increasingly apolitical and highly critical of the manner in which national affairs were conducted.
Widely read and travelled, Thomas Crosbie was a leading member of the Institute of Journalists and Rotary International, a trustee of the Cork Polio and After Care Association, and a president of the Cork CBC Past Pupils Union. He also served the Institution for the Industrious Blind (latterly St Monica's House). His directorships included the Cork Improved Dwellings Company (until 1966) and the old Cork Opera House Company (until 1956). A keen sportsman, he was commodore of the Royal Munster yacht club (1963–5) and captain (1937) and president (1939–41, 1963) of the Cork golf club.
On 21 January 1926 he married the presbyterian Gladys Mary Whitaker (d. 1983) of York House, Summerhill, Cork. Her mother was a member of the Hill family of renowned Cork architects and builders, and the Whitakers were Cork butter merchants. It is said that their inter-denominational marriage was one of the first in Cork following the civil war. They had four children, one of whom was T. E. Crosbie, executive chairman of Examiner Publications Ltd. The family lived at Woodlands, Montenotte, Cork (1916–73). Crosbie died 2 March 1973 at St Stephen's hospital, Sarsfield's Court, Cork, leaving an estate valued at £33,160.