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James J. Kilroy
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Bureaucrat
    (September 26, 1902-November 24, 1962)
    Resided in Boston
    Shipyard inspector at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts during World War II
    Best known as the originator of the war's famed graffiti 'Kilroy Was Here'
    American Transit Association sponsored a contest in December 1946 to ID the Kilroy in question (which he won by providing documentation)
    Died in Halifax, MA at age 60
    He was hired by the shipyard two days before the Japanese attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor.
    His trademark came as a result of trying to stem an outbreak of greedy shipbuilding riveters.
    He discovered some riveters were erasing chalk marks where previous riveters left off and redrawing them further down, giving them credit for more rivets (and more pay).
    Not satisfied with simply stopping the falsifying practice, his ego had him writing 'KILROY WAS HERE' in bold lettering with non-erasable crayon.
    After the New York Times declared him the original Kilroy, his prize was a full-sized trolley car, which he put in his yard as a playhouse for his kids.
    What started as merely a scrawl to keep riveters honest turned into an international craze.
    The big nosed man peering over the wall with the phrase was known as a Chad, a British import adopted by him to give 'Kilroy' a face.
    The reason so many servicemen saw 'Kilroy' was because wartime ship production was so intense that many ships were leaving the yard before they had a chance to be properly painted.
    Soon, military personnel were writing 'Kilroy Was Here' in the most offbeat places they could find as a solidarity movement, transforming Kilroy into a super-GI 'who always got there first.'
    It's been said that after World War II, during the meeting of the Big Three (Truman, Attlee and Stalin) in Potsdam, Germany (July 1945), Josef Stalin emerged from a private lavatory and exclaimed, 'Who is Kilroy?'
    Kilroy has been reported to be atop Mt. Everest, inside the Statue of Liberty and in dust on the Moon.
    In his later years, he became a Boston city councilor and a Massachusetts state representative.
    In 1983, Styx released the album 'Kilroy Was Here,' which hit #3 on Billboard's Albums chart and sold over 2 million units.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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