Dorchester, Boston

Dorchester, Boston
—  Neighborhood of Boston  —
Neponset River at Lower Mills in Dorchester

Nickname(s): Dot
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Suffolk
Neighborhood of Boston
Settled May 1630
Incorporated June 1, 1630
Annexed by Boston January 4, 1870 [1]
Population (2010)[2]
 - Total 91,982 or 134,000
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
Zip Codes 02121, 02122, 02124, 02125
Area code(s) 617 / 857

Dorchester is a dissolved municipality and current neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States.[3] It is named after the town of Dorchester in the English county of Dorset, from which Puritans emigrated[4] and is today endearingly nicknamed "Dot" by its residents.[5] Dorchester, including a large portion of today's Boston, was separately incorporated in 1630.[6] It was still a primarily rural town and had a population of 12,000 when annexed to Boston in 1870. Railroad and streetcar lines brought rapid growth, increasing the population to 150,000 by 1920. It is now a large working class community with many African Americans, European Americans (and is still a center of Irish American immigration), Caribbean Americans, Latinos, and East and Southeast Asian Americans. Recently, there has been an influx of young professionals, gay men, and working artists to the neighborhood, adding to its diversity.[7][8][9][10]



Settlement and Incorporation

Old Blake House in c. 1905

May 30, 1630, Captain Squib of the ship Mary and John entered Boston Harbor and on June 17, 1630 landed a boat with eight men on the Dorchester shore, at what was then a narrow peninsula known as Mattapan or Mattaponnock, and today is known as Columbia Point (more popularly since 1984 as Harbor Point).[11] Those aboard the ship who founded the town included William Phelps, Roger Ludlowe, John Mason, Samuel Maverick, Nicholas Upsall, Henry Wolcott and other men who would become prominent in the founding of a new nation. The original settlement founded in 1630 was at what is now the intersection of Columbia Road and Massachusetts Avenue. (Even though Dorchester was annexed over 100 years ago into the city of Boston, this founding is still celebrated every year on Dorchester Day, which includes festivities and a parade down Dorchester Avenue).

Dorchester looking north toward Boston, c. 1781

Most of the early Dorchester settlers came from the West Country of England, and some from Dorchester, Dorset, where the Rev. John White was chief proponent of a Puritan settlement in the New World.[12] (Rev. John White has been referred to as the unheralded champion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, because despite his heroic efforts on its behalf, he remained in England and never emigrated to the Colony he championed.) The town that was founded was centered around the First Parish Church of Dorchester, which still exists as the Unitarian-Universalist church on Meetinghouse Hill and is the oldest religious organization in present-day Boston.

On October 8, 1633 the first Town Meeting in America was held in Dorchester. Today, each October 8 is celebrated as Town Meeting Day in Massachusetts. Dorchester is the birthplace of the first public elementary school in America, the Mather School, established in 1639.[13] The school still stands as the oldest elementary school in America.[14]

In 1695, a party was dispatched to found the town of Dorchester, South Carolina, which would last barely a half-century before being abandoned.

Early history

Baker's Cocoa Advertisement in Overland Monthly, January 1919. The manufacture of chocolate had been introduced in the United States in 1765 by John Hannon and Dr. James Baker in Dorchester. Walter Baker & Company was located in Dorchester.

In 1765, chocolate was first introduced in the United States when Irish chocolate maker John Hannon (or alternatively spelled "Hannan" in some sources) imported beans from the West Indies and refined them in Dorchester, working with Dr. James Baker, an American physician and investor. They soon after opened America's first chocolate mill and factory in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. The Walter Baker Chocolate Factory, part of Walter Baker & Company, operated until 1965.[15]:627[16][17][18]

Before the American Revolution, "The Sons of Liberty met in August 1769 at the Lemuel Robinson Tavern, which stood on the east side of the upper road (Washington St.) near the present Fuller Street. Lemuel Robinson was a representative of the town during the Revolution and was appointed a colonel in the Revolutionary army."[19] Dorchester (in a part of what is now South Boston) was also the site of the Battle of Dorchester Heights in 1776, which eventually resulted in the British evacuating Boston.

Victorian era

One of Dorchester's most influential residents, Lucy Stone was an early advocate for women's rights

In Victorian times, Dorchester became a popular country retreat for Boston elite, and developed into a bedroom community, easily accessible to the city—a streetcar suburb. The mother and grandparents of John F. Kennedy lived in the Ashmont Hill neighborhood while John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald was mayor of Boston.

The American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, wrote a poem called "The Dorchester Giant" in 1830, and referred to the special kind of stone, "Roxbury puddingstone", also quarried in Dorchester, which was used to build churches in the Boston area, most notably the Central Congregational Church (later called the Church of the Covenant) in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.[20][21]:116

In 1845, the Old Colony Railroad ran through the area and connected Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts. The station was originally called Crescent Avenue or Crescent Avenue Depot[22] as an Old Colony Railroad station, then called Columbia until December 1, 1982, and then again changed to JFK/UMASS. It is an MBTA rail line station for both the subway and commuter rail line.

Two people play tennis in Franklin Park, 1906.

In the 1880s, the calf pasture on Columbia Point was used as a Boston sewer line and pumping station. This large pumping station still stands and in its time was a model for treating sewage and helping to promote cleaner and healthier urban living conditions. It pumped waste to a remote treatment facility on Moon Island in Boston Harbor, and served as a model for other systems worldwide. This system remained in active use and was the Boston Sewer system's headworks, handling all of the city's sewage, until 1968 when a new treatment facility was built on Deer Island. The pumping station is also architecturally significant as a Richardsonian Romanesque designed by the then Boston city architect, George Clough. It is also the only remaining 19th century building on Columbia Point and is in the National Register of Historic Places.[11]

Annexation to Boston

Map of Dorchester, Massachusetts and surrounding area from the H. F. Walling Map of the County of Norfolk, Massachusetts, 1858.

Dorchester was annexed by Boston in pieces beginning on March 6, 1804 and ending with complete annexation to the city of Boston after a plebiscite was held in Boston and Dorchester on June 22, 1869. As a result, Dorchester officially became part of Boston on January 3, 1870.[23] This is also the historic reason that Dorchester Heights is today considered part of South Boston, not modern-day Dorchester, since it was part of the cession of Dorchester to Boston in 1804. Additional parts of Dorchester were ceded to Quincy (in 1792, 1814, 1819, and 1855) and portions of the original town of Dorchester became the separate towns of Hyde Park (1868 and later annexed to Boston in 1912), Milton (1662), and Stoughton (1726).

In 1895, Frederick Law Olmstead architect of the Boston Public Garden/Emerald Necklace and Central Park was commissioned to create Dorchester Park, to be an urban forest for the residents of a growing Dorchester.[24]

In 1904, the Dorchester Historical Society incorporated "Dorchester Day" which commemorated the settlement of Dorchester in 1630. An annual event, Dorchester Day is a tableau of community events, highlighted by such activities as the Landing Day Observance, the Dorchester Day Parade along Dorchester Avenue the first Sunday in June, and as a grand finale, the Community Banquet.[25]

Map showing all ground in Boston occupied by buildings in 1880 just after Dorchester was annexed to Boston in 1870. Dorchester is in the lower left quadrant. From U.S. Census Bureau.

Turn of the 20th Century

There was also increased social activism in Dorchester during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dorchester became home to the first racially integrated neighborhood on Jones Hill. One of the residents of that neighborhood, William Monroe Trotter, with W.E.B. DuBois, helped to found the Niagara Movement, the precursor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.[26] Many leading suffragettes also lived in Dorchester, including Lucy Stone.[27]

In the early 20th century, Dorchester also saw a large flux of new immigrants from origins such as Ireland, French Canada, Poland, Italy, and migrant African Americans from the south. This is the era when the trademark Dorchester triple decker apartment buildings were built.

Modern history

In the early 1950s, Dorchester was also a center of civil rights activism. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived there for much of the time he attended Boston University for his PhD. "With Boston’s Baptist community riveted by his preaching and Coretta [Scott King] at his side, King’s circle grew. The Dorchester apartment drew friends and followers like a magnet, according to [friend and roommate John] Bustamante, with 'untold numbers of visitors coming from the other schools.' The roommates housed and fed the visitors, who would join in civil rights discussions."[28]

During the 1950s-1980s, the ethnic landscape of Dorchester changed dramatically. Up until the 1950s, the Blue Hill Avenue part of Dorchester from Roxbury to Mattapan was primarily composed of Jewish Americans who had lived there for generations. The Neponset neighborhood was primarily Irish-American. During the 1950s-1960s, many African-Americans moved from the South to the North during the Great Migration and settled on Blue Hill Avenue and nearby sections. While some Jewish-Americans were moving "up and out" to the suburbs, certain Boston banks and real estate companies developed a blockbusting plan for the area. The Blue Hill Ave. area was "redlined" so that only the newly arriving African-Americans would receive mortgages for housing in that section.[29] During this transition, the crime rate skyrocketed—murders and muggings became common. "White flight" was prevalent. By the 1980s, the Blue Hill Ave. section of Dorchester had become a predominately black community. Numerous burned out buildings existed on Blue Hill Ave.[citation needed] During the 1990s, the city administration increased police presence and invested city money into the area for more street lighting, etc.[citation needed]

This recent picture of the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester shows the typical urban street-scape found in the neighborhood

In the last half of the 20th century, Dorchester had another wave of immigrants, this time from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, Cape Verde, as well as other Latin American, Asian, and African nations. While there was still a large number of new immigrants from traditional countries of origin, such as Ireland and Poland. This made Dorchester more diverse than at any point in its long history, and home to more people from more countries than ever before. These immigrants helped revive economically many areas of the neighborhood by opening ethnic stores and restaurants.[30]

Notable events

The first community health center in the United States was the Columbia Point Health Center in Dorchester. It was opened in December 1965 and served mostly the massive Columbia Point public housing complex adjoining it. It was founded by two medical doctors, Jack Geiger who had been on the faculty of Harvard University then later at Tufts University and Count Gibson from Tufts University.[31][32][33] Geiger had previously studied the first community health centers and the principles of Community Oriented Primary Care with Sidney Kark [34] and colleagues while serving as a medical student in rural Natal, South Africa.[35] The Columbia Point Health Center is still in operation and was rededicated in 1990 as the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center.[36][37][38]

In 1977, after an unsuccessful bid to have the John F. Kennedy Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts close to Harvard University, ground was broken at the tip of Columbia Point for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, designed by the architect I. M. Pei, and dedicated on October 20, 1979.

The oldest surviving home in the city of Boston, the James Blake House, is located at Edward Everett Square, which is the historic intersection of Columbia Road, Boston Street, and Massachusetts Avenue, a few blocks from the Dorchester Historical Society. The Blake House was constructed in 1661, as was confirmed by dendrochronology in 2007.

A number of the earliest streets in Dorchester have changed names several times through the centuries, meaning that some names have come and gone. Leavitt Place, for instance, named for one of Dorchester's earliest settlers, eventually became Brook Court and then Brook Avenue Place.[39] Gallivan Boulevard was once Codman Street and Brookvale Street was once Brook Street.[40] Morrissey Boulevard was once Old Colony Parkway.


Dorchester is located south of downtown Boston and is surrounded by the neighborhoods of South Boston, Roxbury, Mattapan, South End, and the city of Quincy and town of Milton. The Neponset River separates Dorchester from Quincy and Milton. According to the US Postal Service, Dorchester includes the zip codes 02121, 02122, 02124, and 02125.

Neighborhood sections and squares

Map showing the locations of Dorchester sections and squares

Dorchester is Boston's largest and most populous neighborhood[41] and comprises many smaller sections and squares. Due to its size of about six square miles, it is often divided for statistical purposes in North and South Dorchester. North Dorchester includes the portion north of Quincy Street, East Street and Freeport Street. The main business district in this part of Dorchester is Uphams Corner, at the intersection of Dudley Street and Columbia Road. South Dorchester is bordered to the east by Dorchester Bay and to the south by the Neponset River.[42] The main business districts in this part of Dorchester are Fields Corner, at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Adams Street, and Codman Square, at the intersection of Washington Street and Talbot Avenue.

Dorchester Avenue is the major neighborhood spine, running in a south-north line through all of Dorchester from Lower Mills to downtown Boston.[43] The southern part of Dorchester is primarily a residential area, with established neighborhoods still defined by parishes, and occupied by families for generations. The northern part of Dorchester is more urban, with a greater amount of apartment housing and industrial parks. South Bay Center and Newmarket industrial area are major sources of employment and the Harbor Point area (formerly known as Columbia Point) is home of several large employers, including the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Archives, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. However, the entire neighborhood continues to change, as can be observed in the recent growth of its distinct commercial districts: Bowdoin/Geneva, Fields Corner, Codman Square, Peabody Square, Adams Village and Lower Mills. While some sections remain primarily residential: Savin Hill, Jones Hill, Four Corners, Franklin Field, Franklin Hill, Ashmont, Meeting House Hill, Neponset, Popes Hill and Port Norfolk.

The sections of Dorchester have distinct ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic compositions. The eastern areas of Dorchester (especially between Adams Street and Dorchester Bay) are primarily ethnic European and Asian, with a large population of Irish Americans and Vietnamese Americans, while the residents of the western, central and parts of the southern sections of the neighborhood are predominantly African Americans. In Neponset, the southeast corner of the neighborhood, as well as parts of Savin Hill in the north and Cedar Grove in the south, Irish Americans maintain the most visible identity.[44] In the northern section of Dorchester and southwestern section of South Boston is the Polish Triangle, where recent Polish immigrants are residents. Savin Hill, as well as Fields Corner, have large Vietnamese American populations. Uphams Corner contains a Cape Verdean American community, the largest concentration of people of Cape Verdean origin within Boston city limits. Western, central and parts of southern Dorchester have a large Caribbean population (especially people from Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago). They are most heavily represented in the Codman Square, Franklin Field and the Ashmont area, although there are also significant numbers in Four Corners and Fields Corner. Significant numbers of African Americans live in the Harbor Point, Uphams Corner, Fields Corner, Four Corners and Franklin Field areas.[45] In recent years Dorchester has also seen an influx of young professionals, gay men, and working artists (in areas like Lower Mills, Ashmont Hill/Peabody Square, and Savin Hill).[7][9][10][46][47]


As of 2000 the population of Dorchester was 92,115 and the ethnic makeup was 36% African American or Black, 32% White non-Hispanic, 12% Hispanic or Latino, 11% Asian or Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, 4% some other race, 5% two or more races.[48]


The red line MBTA platform at the JFK/UMass station

The neighborhood is served by five stations on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Red Line (MBTA) rapid transit service, five stations on the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line, commuter rail lines, and various bus routes. Over the last decade, the Dorchester branch of the red line had major renovations, including four rapid transit stations being rebuilt at Savin Hill, Fields Corner, Shawmut, and Ashmont.[49][50] At Ashmont station, the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts partnered with private investors to create The Carruth, one of the state's first Transit-oriented developments (TOD).[50][51]

Interstate 93 (which is also Route 3 and U.S. 1) runs north-south through Dorchester between Quincy, Massachusetts and downtown Boston, providing access to the eastern edge of Dorchester at Columbia Road, Morrissey Boulevard (northbound only), Neponset Circle (southbound only), and Granite Avenue (with additional southbound on-ramps at Freeport Street and from Morrissey Blvd at Neponset). Several other state routes traverse the neighborhood, e.g., Route 203, Gallivan Boulevard and Morton Street, and Route 28, Blue Hill Avenue (so named because it leads out of the city to the Blue Hills Reservation). The Neponset River separates Dorchester from Quincy and Milton. The "Dorchester Turnpike" (now "Dorchester Avenue") stretches from Fort Point Channel (now in South Boston) to Lower Mills, and once boasted a horse-drawn streetcar.


The headquarters of the Boston Globe is located on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester

Throughout its history, Dorchester has had periods of economic revival and recession. In the 1960s and 1970s, Dorchester was particularly hard hit by economic recession, high unemployment, and white flight.[52]

In 1953, Carney Hospital moved from South Boston to its current location in Dorchester, serving the local communities of Dorchester, Mattapan, Milton and Quincy.

In 1953, a major public housing project was completed on the Columbia Point peninsula of Dorchester. There were 1,502 units in the development on 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land. It was later known for high rates of crime and poor living conditions, and it went through particularly bad times in the 1970s and 80s. By 1988, there were only 350 families living there. In 1984, the City of Boston gave control of it to a private developer, Corcoran-Mullins-Jennison, who redeveloped the property into a residential mixed-income community called Harbor Point Apartments which was opened in 1988 and completed by 1990. It was the first federal housing project to be converted to private, mixed-income housing in the USA. Harbor Point has won much acclaim for this transformation, including awards from the Urban Land Institute, the FIABCI Award for International Excellence, and the Rudy Bruner Award.[53][54][55]

During the housing crisis of 2008 in the United States, Dorchester's Hendry Street became the epicenter in the media[56] In reaction, the city of Boston negotiated to buy several of the houses for as little as $30,000. It is moving to seize other foreclosed properties on which the owners have not paid taxes. The houses were renovated and added to the inventory of subsidized rental housing.[57]

In 2008, plans and proposals were unveiled and presented to public community hearings by the Corcoran-Jennison Company to redevelop the 30-acre (120,000 m2) Bayside Exposition Center site on the Columbia Point peninsula into a mixed use village of storefronts and residences, called "Bayside on the Point".[58][59][60][61] However, in 2009, the Bayside Expo Center property was lost in a foreclosure on Corcoran-Jennison to a Florida-based real estate firm, LNR/CMAT, who bought it. Soon after, the University of Massachusetts Boston bought the property from them to build future campus facilities.[62][63]

The corporate headquarters of the Boston Globe is located in Dorchester. In 2009, the New York Times, current owner, put the paper up for bid, leading to concern from local community members, who had seen other major employers close their doors.[64] After negotiations with their union and cost reduction measures, the New York Times abandoned its plan to sell the Boston Globe in October 2009.[65]

In the 20th century, many of the labor unions in Boston relocated their headquarters to Dorchester. This includes the Boston Teachers Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 718, among others.


Dorchester has a much higher murder rate than most other neighborhoods in the Boston area. Dorchester's population was 91,982 in 2010, being only 15% of the population of Boston and yet having 44% of the murders in 2010. In 2009 24 of the 50 murders in Boston were in Dorchester. The majority of all murders in Boston take place in one of three neighborhoods, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury, all of which border one another. [66]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Students in Dorchester are served by Boston Public Schools (BPS). BPS assigns students based on preferences of the applicants and priorities of students in various zones.[67]

Dorchester High School predated the annexation of Dorchester to Boston. At its founding, it was an all male school, first opened on December 10, 1852. In 1870 Dorchester was annexed to Boston and its schools became managed by the City of Boston. A replacement facility opened in Codman Square on Talbot Avenue 1901. The current Dorchester facility opened in 1925 on Peacevale Road to males, while the Talbot Avenue building was for females. In 1953 Dorchester High School consolidated as a coeducational school.[68]

Today, Dorchester houses many of the city's high schools. Dorchester Education Complex (formerly Dorchester High School) is in Dorchester.[69] The schools within the Dorchester complex include the Academy of Public Service,[70] the Edward G. Noonan Business Academy,[71] and TechBoston Academy.[72] In September 2009 the Academy of Public Service and the Noonan Business Academy will merge into the Edward G. Noonan Academy for Business, Public Service and Law.[70] Boston Latin Academy, a 7-12 secondary school and one of the city's three exam schools,[73] and Jeremiah E. Burke High School, a high school, are also located in Dorchester.[74]

Other schools:

  • Boston Collegiate Charter School, grades 5-12
  • Codman Academy Charter Public School, 9-12
  • Paul A. Dever Elementary School, K-5
  • Edward Everett Elementary School, K1-5
  • Lilla Frederick Pilot Middle School, 6-8
  • The Harbor School, 6-8
  • Dr. William H. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School (formerly Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School), K-5
  • Thomas J. Kenney Elementary School, K-5
  • The Mather Elementary School, Pre School-5
  • John W. McCormack School, 6-8
  • Richard J. Murphy Elementary School, K1-8
  • Neighborhood Charter School, K-8
  • William E. Russell Elementary, K1-5
  • Smith Leadership Academy Charter School, 5-8
  • Lucy Stone School, K-5
  • TechBoston Lower Academy (formerly Woodrow Wilson Middle School), 6-9
  • Uphams Corner Charter School, 5-8

Parochial schools

Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston operates the Columbia Campus,[75] the Dorchester Central Campus,[76] the Lower Mills Campus,[77] and the Neponset Campus.[78]

Other parochial schools include:

  • Boston College High School, 7-12
  • Cristo Rey High School Boston, 9-12
  • Elizabeth Seton Academy, 9-12
  • St. Ambrose School - closed, K-8
  • St. Angela School - (In 2008, closed and reopened as the Mattapan Square Campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy)[79]
  • St. Ann Elementary School, K-8 (In 2008, closed and reopened as the Neponset Campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy)[79]
  • St. Brendan School, K-8
  • St. Gregory Elementary School, K-8 (In 2008, closed and reopened as the Lower Mills Campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy)[79]
  • St. Kevin School, K-8 (closed in 2008 [80])
  • St. Margaret Elementary School, K-8 (Closed and reopened as the Columbia Campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy)[79]
  • St. Mark School, K-8(In 2008, closed and reopened as the Dorchester Central Campus of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy)[79]
  • St. Matthew School, K-8
  • St. Peter Elementary School, K-8 (closed in 2008 [81])

Colleges and universities

Public libraries

Boston Public Library operates six neighborhood branches in Dorchester.[82]

  • Adams Street Branch
  • Codman Square Branch - Originally opened at 6 Norfolk Street in 1905 and was named after a preacher named John Codman. The branch moved into its current facility, which was designed by Eco-Texture, Inc., in 1978.[83]
  • Fields Corner Branch
  • Grove Hall Branch
  • Lower Mills Branch
  • Uphams Corner Branch

Sites of interest

Notable residents

  • Charles Baker Adams - Born in Dorchester, noted academic and naturalist[84]
  • William Taylor Adams - Wrote fiction under the pseudonym "Oliver Optic" and served on the School Board of Dorchester.[84]
  • Samuel Turell Armstrong - Born in Dorchester, Governor of Massachusetts [84]
  • Robert Bergenheim - Raised in Dorchester, founder of the Boston Business Journal[85]
  • Ray Bolger - Vaudevillian and film actor, best known as the Scarecrow in the 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz"
  • James "Whitey" Bulger - former crime boss who led the Winter Hill Gang
  • William M. Bulger - Massachusetts politician, former President of the Massachusetts Senate and president of the University of Massachusetts.
  • Joe Conforte - owner of the Mustang Ranch in Nevada
  • Clarence Cook - Born in Dorchester. 19th century art critic and writer.[86]
  • Norm Crosby - Entertainer[87]
  • Pete Doherty (aka The Duke of Dorchester) - Born in Dorchester, Professional wrestler from 1973 to 1994. Announcer on WWE Television programs from 1987 to 1989.
  • Elliott Francis - Television/Radio news journalist.
  • Dolores Handy - Emmy-awarding winning broadcast journalist and WBUR/National Public Radio host[88]
  • Kay Hanley - American alternative rock musician. She is best known as the vocalist for the band Letters to Cleo.
  • George V. Kenneally, Jr. - Legislator who represented Dorchester in both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Massachusetts Senate. His crowning achievement was introducing legislation creating the University of Massachusetts Boston.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy - prominent American businessman and political figure.
  • Rose Kennedy - was the mother of President John F. Kennedy.
  • John King - is an American journalist
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. - is an American civil rights leader and lived in Dorchester while attending Boston University.[28]
  • Jonathan Knight - American singer, best known for membership in the New Kids on the Block
  • Jordan Knight - American singer, best known for membership in the New Kids on the Block
  • Calixa Lavallée - Canadian national anthem's composer, also wrote offertorium[disambiguation needed ] for the dedication of St. Peter's of Dorchester (1883)[89][90]
  • Dennis Lehane - American Author of Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and the Given Day
  • Douglas MacKinnon - American Author of First Victim, America's Last Days, and The Apocalypse Directive.
  • Leonard Nimoy - is an American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer. He played the character of Spock on Star Trek.
  • Lawrence O'Donnell - former aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, producer of "The West Wing" and host of MSNBC's "The Last Word"
  • Omega Red - is an American rapper, musician and actor. He is the nephew of Donna Summer.
  • Status Quo - Dance Crew, Runners up on MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew
  • Lucy Stone - was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist.
  • Donna Summer - American pop and disco singer.
  • Donnie Wahlberg - is an American singer, actor and film producer, best known for membership in the New Kids on the Block
  • Mark Wahlberg - is an Academy Award-nominated American actor.


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Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 42°19′N 71°3′W / 42.317°N 71.05°W / 42.317; -71.05

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