Glennon, John Joseph (1862–1946), cardinal archbishop of St Louis, was born 14 June 1862 in Hardwood, Clonard, Co. Meath, the eldest of twelve children of Matthew Glennon, a farmer, and Catherine Glennon (née Rafferty). Educated initially at a local national school in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, he then attended the diocesan college of St. Mary's, Mullingar, and studied philosophy and theology at All Hallows College, Dublin, until 1883. He was then invited by Bishop John Hogan (1829–1913) of Kansas City, to join his diocese, and was ordained at Kansas City's cathedral on 20 December 1884.
He was assigned as assistant pastor of St Patrick's parish, Kansas City, where he remained for three years. He then spent a sabbatical year at the University of Bonn, where he studied German in order to work more effectively with the German immigrants in Missouri. Upon his return to Kansas City, he was appointed secretary and then rector of the cathedral, and was later named vicar general of the diocese (1892). On 14 March 1896 he was named coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Kansas City, and was consecrated 29 June 1896. On April 27 1903, he became coadjutor archbishop in the archdiocese of St Louis. He succeeded Archbishop John Joseph Kain upon his death, and became the third archbishop of St Louis on 13 October 1903. During his 42-year tenure in this office, he oversaw the building of a new cathedral (consecrated 1926), seminary buildings, seven high schools and 95 parishes.
He returned to Ireland occasionally, staying at All Hallows College during the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, and visiting relatives in Westmeath. In 1914 he spoke at the consecration of the Blessed Oliver Plunkett Memorial Church in Drogheda, and in 1939 preached the sermon at the consecration of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was elevated to the college of cardinals by Pope Pius XII on 23 December 1945 and travelled to Rome for investiture. He broke his journey in Ireland and on his return trip, was met at Rineanna airport by the taoiseach, Eamon de Valera (qv), who escorted him to Dublin. President Seán T. Ó Kelly (qv) held a dinner in his honour and Glennon remained in Dublin as his guest.
However, Glennon had contracted pneumonia and uremic poisoning during the trip, and died at Áras an Uachtaráin on 9 March 1946, just 17 days after his investiture. The cardinal lay in state at the Áras before funeral mass at the cathedral in Mullingar. His body was flown back to St Louis on 13 March 1946, where he was interred in the crypt of the Chapel of All Souls, St Louis. He is remembered as a builder, educator, and orator, although some critics note that he held conservative views on issues such as women's suffrage, the liturgical movement, and race relations.