James Cardinal Gibbons was born in Baltimore, MD on July 23, 1834. After growing up under difficult conditions in County Mayo, Ireland, and in New Orleans, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore on June 30, 1861.
His efficient work during the Plenary Council of Baltimore convinced the bishops of the United States to nominate him as the first bishop of the North Carolina Vicariate in 1868. He became bishop of the Diocese of Richmond in 1872 and the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1877. He was appointed the second Cardinal in the United States in 1886. He died on March 24, 1921. In September 1961, Cardinal Gibbons High School was opened and named after “The First of All Americans." He was an American and a modern man. Forward-looking and ahead of his time, he became the patron of an institution dedicated to preparing youth for the future. In his day, he championed many causes whose extensions are found in modern society, such as dialogue with other religions, civil rights, unity within the Church, the welfare of the poor and underprivileged, and the problems of education and the aged. Hopefully, the solution to some of these will be found by those now studying in a school dedicated to his ideals and principles.