Did Daniel Cassidy Have a University Degree?

Wow! For several years now, I have been posting regularly here, trying to convince people that Daniel Cassidy’s insane theories about the Irish origins of American slang have no basis in fact. In the process, I have often questioned Cassidy’s qualifications. According to Wikipedia, he had a degree from Cornell. He seems to have had no other qualifications. No Master’s degree, no doctorate. Not even a diploma. However, I never doubted that he had a primary degree.

This rainy and miserable evening, I logged on to the computer to start writing a post about the subject of the word ballyhoo and the claims made by Loretto Todd and Daniel Cassidy about its origin from the Irish word bailiú. However, when I logged on, I was amazed to receive a message from Cassidy’s sister Susan Cassidy Connors:

Danny was always an FOS person–he was older than he claimed, was a liar and a thief, and tore the family apart.

BTW, he did attend Cornell, but flunked out!

So, it looks as if the Cassidy scandal might be an even bigger scandal than I thought. We knew that Cassidy was guilty of egoism and misinformation and deception but if this is correct, then Cassidy was guilty of far more. Claiming to have an academic qualification to obtain employment is a serious criminal offence, and surely nobody would have employed him as an academic knowing that he had no academic qualifications at all! Several sources also mention Columbia, with one of them claiming that he graduated from that university, but as this is only one source, it seems unlikely.

As it stands, of course, I cannot prove this claim one way or the other. I have contacted the Registrar’s Office at Cornell to inform them and I hope that they will investigate and issue a statement on this if appropriate. I suggest that the Registrar’s Office at San Francisco State should also investigate if Cassidy worked with them and what proof he offered of his academic qualifications. (According to a discussion on Wikipedia on the origins of the word jazz, Cassidy worked on the faculty of SFS before taking up his chair at NCC, which was in 1995.)

To those who have followed cassidyslangscam with interest, watch this space. Things are starting to get very interesting!


7 thoughts on “Did Daniel Cassidy Have a University Degree?

  1. Susan Cassidy Connors

    My ( our) brother Michael finished his degree at Columbia…not Danny. Funny too, I was reading something that Alexander Cockbum wrote in Counter Punch– “Danny’s blue eyes would shine as we argued”… Danny had hazel eyes like our mother’s. I guess he thought it sounded more Irish..??.. Cockbum also said that Danny grew up in the “slums of Brooklyn”. we grew up on Long Island in the ’50’s–it was all country..I think that was Cockbum just romanticizing.. But God only knows what my brother told people. In the book he claims that our paternal grandparent’s were both born in Ireland—only our Grandmother was– not our Grandfather. There were some accurate stories about the family, but he always had to embellish everything he said and wrote.

    I really do hope that some of what he thought he’d discovered was accurate, that he contributed something. His life was so very sad and crazy.

  2. Debunker Post author

    Hi Susan, Many thanks for contributing here. I realise the whole business must be very difficult for you. As for the question of whether any of his work was valid, I’m afraid I couldn’t offer you a lot of hope on that one. I didn’t know anything about your brother when I started writing this blog. It was the absurdities and the fake Irish which made me distrustful of him and hostile towards him. I don’t think there is anything of any value in this book. Personally, I am still a little shocked at the idea that somebody like him was able to become a professor without any academic qualifications. I know America is the land of opportunity, but that’s ridiculous! 🙂

  3. Susan Cassidy Connors

    As it says in his book– he ” attended Cornel University”
    Yes, he did attend– did he graduate from Cornel? Absolutely not….
    That’s all from me, any other of my information would be superfluous .
    That’s it from this Cassidy!

  4. Debunker Post author

    And we’re more than grateful for you contribution! Have a wonderful St Patrick’s Day, Susan, and I wish you all the very best in the future! 🙂

  5. Debunker Post author

    Susan, if you’re still following this, is there any chance you could help us out with a couple of bits of information? What was your brother’s middle name and birthday? It would be a big help if you could give us these details. Thanks! 😉

  6. Susan Cassidy Connors

    I am going to hell for this–the worst part of that is that Danny will be there!
    His middle name was Patrick DOB 4/26/43

  7. Debunker Post author

    I think there are a lot of people who gave Cassidy far too much leeway and allowed him to get away with his deceptions. I think they’re the ones who should have a guilty conscience, not you! Thank you again for that agus mo sheacht mbeannacht ort! (My seven blessings on you!) 🙂


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