PADDY KELLY BIO
Born of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother Paddy Kelly, (68 years old), is the eldest of nine. He left Ireland at the age of sixteen and emigrated to New York City working odd jobs such as pushing a hot dog cart and as an assembly line worker in a Pepsi Cola factory and worked full time while finishing secondary school. In his last year he was offered an athletic scholarship for gymnastics and after finishing secondary school attended the City University of New York in Queens where he entered the pre-med programme. It was here that he was first introduced to and became interested in theatre.
Due to the war in Viet Nam and the resultant military draft, the City University team was disbanded thus cancelling his scholarship and Kelly enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
In 1972 while stationed in Kevlavik, Iceland, after meeting with and gaining special permission from president Kristján Eldjárn Kelly was employed to coach the Icelandic National Olympic gymnastics team, a post held for two years.
In the winter of that same year while in Iceland he volunteered for and helped in the rescue efforts of the Vestmannaeyiar Island residents following the eruption of the Heimaey volcano. It was during this disaster, while trapped in a damaged building on the island, that Kelly and a Marine buddy concocted a parody in the form of a fake letter to Anne Landers advice column questioning whether their decision to join the Navy was the right one. After escaping the building and returning to base, weeks later they mailed the letter prompting Landers to answer with a single word, ‘No!’ thus nudging Kelly towards writing black comedy.
A year later he became a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy and, in April of 1975, assisted in the evacuation of Saigon and the resettlement of tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees to Westminster, Orange County, CA where he was first exposed to the world of film making, and later worked as a set carpenter and painter.
Following the end of the war, using the G.I. Bill, Mr. Kelly returned to university earning a bachelor’s in Biology with a concentration in zoology. While at university he supplemented his income working as a set carpenter and sign writer for films.
After graduation he further developed his interest in writing when he found employment as a script editor. It was during this period that Mr. Kelly wrote his first novel, Politically Erect, a black comedy-political satire of the last days of the war in Viet Nam and the fall of Saigon.
With an economic downturn in America Paddy re-enlisted in the forces this time in the U.S. Army where he gravitated towards Special Operations and intelligence work. After passing the eighteen month selection phase Sergeant Kelly served twelve years as a Special Operations Medical Sergeant and worked his way through graduate school earning his M.Ed. from Worcester State College in Boston.
On graduation he moved to Dublin and began writing plays and directing full time, focusing on farce, satirical and political comedy.
Mr. Kelly has to date directed two dozen professional and amateur theatrical productions, a TV pilot, penned a half dozen feature film scripts and is a former contributor to various film industry publications.
Today Paddy Kelly is a prominent Irish novelist and playwright based in Dublin, Ireland and London, England, who writes in a Roman à clef style focusing primarily on politics and history sometimes with a dark, comic twist. He has been a professional writer for twelve years who has penned eight novels, a collection of novellae, several short stories and half a dozen plays as well as a cook book.