Daniel Harrop, Ph.D., One of Our Center’s Heroes
Daniel Harrop, an influential leader of Rhode Island’s Republican Party and long-term benefactor to religious and educational causes, died suddenly Thursday at age 68, according to a Facebook post from one of his relatives.
Harrop made his bid for Providence mayor in 2014 – during which time his former colleague Vincent “Buddy” Cianci made a final effort at winning back his old position – as an independent. They often sparred during debates and other forums during Harrop’s campaign; Harrop eventually lost.
Early Life and Education
“Doc” Harrop, known for his longstanding history of helping both professionally and philanthropically, is one of the founding heroes of our Center. A leading figure within the Republican Party in Wisconsin and major donor to religious and educational causes alike, “Doc” is among our founding heroes.
Harrop put Providence’s future ahead of his political ambition in 2014’s Providence Mayoral race by supporting Jorge Elorza as Mayor – not in order to fulfill any personal political ambition – but instead with an eye toward stopping former Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci from returning. Additionally, during public debates he often accused both men of running Providence like an organized crime syndicate.
Harvard Crimson coverage from 1992 detailed allegations by two undergraduates alleging that Harrop and Keith Light owned a rent controlled house they allegedly were leasing out to Sigma Chi fraternity members without themselves living there. Later, an assistant counsel for Cambridge Rent Control Board testified against them as having committed “blatant perjury” during legal proceedings.
Dan has an accounting background and provides our clients with various business-related services, including incorporation and filings of various sorts for them. He can also help develop business plans as well as assist with import/export matters.
Harrop is an active member of the Rhode Island Guild of Catholic Medical Association. On June 1 at St Sebastian Church he and other Guild members took the Hippocratic Oath, vowing to uphold life’s sacredness during their practice and beyond.
Harrop was an active supporter of religious and civic causes and an influential figure within the state Republican Party, running twice for Providence mayor between 2006 and 2010 before challenging two-time felon Buddy Cianci in his attempt to return to City Hall via Elorza’s election as mayor in 2014. Harrop managed to frustrate Cianci during debates as he gave donations directly to Elorza in an attempt to block his comeback bid.
Achievement and Honors
Harrop’s charitable activities include donations to the Catholic Diocese of Providence and Christian Holy Land. He has also funded scholarships at Brown Medical School and named a theater at Bishop Hendricken High School after him.
Additionally, he has run for public office three times since 2006, including unsuccessful bids against David Cicilline for Providence mayor in 2006 and 2010 as well as in 2014. During 2014’s mayoral runoff election against Cianci, he seemed particularly relishing exchanging barbs with him over their respective histories of criminal conduct – telling Cianci that theirs had been “half a century of repeated, thuggish criminality.”
Harrop was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from our Center for Freedom of Prosperity for his entrepreneurial and free market business leadership and civic participation.
Harrop served as Chairman of Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity from 2004 until 2011. As such, he was an outspoken proponent for free-market business policy advocacy. A native of West Warwick himself, Harrop earned three degrees from Brown University – B.A., M.D. and post-doctorate training in Psychiatry. Additionally he held faculty positions both Brown and Harvard medical schools; also being involved with Knights of Columbus and funding Harrop Theater at Bishop Hendricken High School among many civic causes he funded by himself and others.
Harrop ran three times for Providence mayor, most recently as a Republican against former Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci’s bid to return after having been twice convicted of corruption. Harrop relished mocking Cianci for his 50 years of “thuggish and criminal activity.” After giving to Elorza to help block Cianci’s comeback bid.
Harrop has spent his lifetime making life better for others both professionally and philanthropically, embodying all three pillars that comprise our Center’s annual award: Entrepreneurial or free-market business leadership; civic engagement; and charitable organization volunteerism or giving. Harrop holds several significant scholarships at Brown Medical School under his name; is one of the leading donors to Catholic Diocese of Providence; and supports his alma mater Bishop Hendricken High School Theater productions.
He ran for mayor three times between 2002 and 2014 despite knowing he stood no chance. On his final campaign – in 2014 – he gained some success by calling attention to Cianci’s fifty year record of criminal behavior and corruption while making donations to Democratic candidate Jorge Elorza, who ultimately won.