THE man who set up the forerunner to America’s FBI – and who foiled a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln – grew up in the Gorbals.

Allan Pinkerton founded the world’s most famous detective agency - could he be your Greatest Glaswegian?

Over the summer we are revealing the names of 100 men and women who have put the city on the map through sport, science, politics, the arts and more.

Most were born here, some moved here to work or study and have since made the city their own, opening the eyes of others around the world to its strengths and successes; and others have made such an impact on Glasgow that, despite having been born elsewhere, they are inextricably linked with the city, its people, culture and ideals.

Once all 100 have been announced, we will be opening our list up to a public vote, giving our readers the chance to determine who should be crowned Greatest Glaswegian.

Born in Glasgow 200 years ago this week, Allan Pinkerton is considered the founding father of America’s intelligence services.

A barrel-maker to trade and a political activist, Allan fled to Chicago in 1842 as he feared he would be arrested for his political activities.

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In Illinois, he got involved in the anti-slavery movement, helping to create the “underground railroad” which helped slaves to escape.

It was a chance encounter with a gang of counterfeiters – whom he managed to have captured – that resulted in Allan’s change of career, firstly, to deputy sheriff of Kane County and then as Chicago’s first full-time detective.

In 1850 he resigned to set up the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which got a reputation for toughness.

The agency’s slogan was “we never sleep” and its symbol was an unblinking eye – hence the term, ‘private eye’.

Allan was employed by Abraham Lincoln as his bodyguard and helped to foil a plot to kill the newly-elected president.

Kidney disease pioneer Dr Anna Murphy transformed the city’s renal service to the benefit of countless children and families from Glasgow and beyond.

Although not born in Glasgow, Dr Murphy’s contribution to the city is huge, recognised in 1999 when she was awarded the title of Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year.

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After learning that French hospitals were treating Scottish children who would have died from kidney disease had they stayed in this country, she was determined to provide the same care here.

Dr Murphy founded and developed the country’s first dedicated renal unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill.

The eight-bedded unit opened in Glasgow in 1972 and Dr Murphy became the city’s first consultant in paediatric nephrology.

Find out who else is in the running at

Two more contenders will be announced tomorrow.