Richard J. Sheridan, brother of Martin J. Sheridan and eldest of seven siblings, was born in Bohola, County Mayo, Ireland in 1872. He immigrated to the United States in the 1890s and in '97 began competing for the Pastime Athletic Club, the second oldest athletic club in America. He competed in weight throwing events, and excelled in the discus and hammer throw. He also competed for the Irish-American Athletic Club. In 1901, he won the discus throwing event at the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo, New York.
He served with distinction in the Police Department of the City of New York from 1901 to 1937. During his tenure with the NYPD, he was responsible for inventing numerous traffic signal devices that were used throughout the country. Shortly after retiring as Deputy Inspector of the NYPD, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the special police force for the 1939 New York World's Fair in Queens, New York, a position he held from 1937 to 1941.
Richard Sheridan died in Queens, New York in 1962 at the age of 90, survived by his wife, Mary Flangan Sheridan, sister Katie Sheridan, son Richard J. Jr., three daughters, Mrs. Ann Giovine, Mrs. Mary Pascal, Mrs. Patricia Ayers and many grandchildren.
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