Tony Blair to speak at Al Smith Dinner

Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and President Bush’s chief ally in the war against Iraq, will be the featured speaker at this year’s Al Smith Dinner.

The 62nd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a major charity event for the Archdiocese of New York, will be Oct. 18 at the Waldorf-Astoria.

tjndc5-5fsyascjh3q1dht3k4kx_layout.jpgBlair is a member of the Church of England, but his wife and kids are Catholic. Some have speculated that Blair would become Catholic after leaving office.

Right now, he’s special envoy to the Middle East for the so-called “quartet.”

The last British PM to address the Smith dinner was a guy named Winston Churchill, who did it in 1947.

The dinner is $1,000 a ticket, with proceeds going to Catholic charities across NY.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.