James McCabe was born in Glen Cove on July 9, 1933 to Peter McCabe from Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan and Mary Ellen McCabe (nee Moran) from New York City. The oldest of six children, James graduated from St. Patrick’s School in Glen Cove. And then attended St. Michael’s High School in Conesus, NY, a prep school for the missionary Brothers of the Society of the Divine Word (S.V.D.) for three and a half years. Deciding that the religious life was not his vocation, he transferred to Glen Cove High School and graduated in 1951.
James then enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April, 1952. He was assigned to the USS Missouri right of boot camp and after a shakedown cruise that ship was off for Korea. He was on board that ship for three years and helped put the ship in “mothballs” the first time. He then spent a year aboard a submarine tender based in San Diego, CA.
After the service, James returned to Glen Cove, where he married Sophie Shepanski and together they raised two sons, James and Matthew. They are now the proud grandparents of five grandchildren.
James joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians (A.O.H.) in 1958 and has served in the positions of President, Recording Secretary and Marshal. One of his proudest moments as an Hibernian was assisting in the response to Cardinal O’Connor’s request that the Order fill St. Patrick’s Cathedral when protestors threatened to desecrate it.
Jim helped keep the Irish tradition alive by joining the Thomondgate Dancers who performed at schools, nursing homes and feisanna and at public events such as the Tercentennial celebration in downtown New York City.