Bryan was born on 24th December 1967 in Lakewood, Ohio; the son of James and Judy (née Haluscak) Flannery. The family have their ancestral roots in the townland of Muingingaun in the parish of Kilcommon (Erris) in County Mayo. Since emigrating to Ohio, U.S.A., the family have played an active role in local politics for many years. His great grandparents Eugene and Margaret (née Tomko) Flannery started working at the grassroots level during the Depression. Gene was a Ward Leader in Cleveland while Margaret served as a delegate to the Democratic Convention that nominated FDR. Bryan’s grandfather, Joseph E. Flannery, served over ten years as a Cleveland City Councilman where he was the Majority Floor Leader and followed with a decade of service on the Cleveland Transit Board. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention that nominated JFK. Jim Flannery, Bryan’s father, continued the tradition of public service to Ohio as a State Representative from 1966-1972. He continued as a member of the Ohio Board of Regents and President of Ohio’s Accountancy Board.
Bryan is a graduate of Lakewood St. Edward High School and the University of Notre Dame (Sociology), where he was a member of the University's football team as a three year starter and member of the 1988 National Championship Team as defensive lineman.
He has worked in the private sector representing the Insurance, Oil and Health Care industries, but devotes much of his time to community activities and local politics. He served as a Lakewood City Councilman (1994-1998) and a two-term State Representative (1999-2003). He was the Democratic Party nominee for Secretary of State in 2002 (collecting more votes than the Democratic candidate for Governor received), and his hard work earned their nomination for Governor in 2006.
Bryan is a member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church; volunteer coach; member of the University of Notre Dame Monogram Club; member of the Ohio Petroleum Association; past member of area local Chambers of Commerce; Author and initiator of the Educate Ohio Constitutional Amendment; past member of the League of Cities, State Government Associations; and a volunteer at Lorain Labor Day's Community Festival.
Bryan is married to Renee Newbauer, and they have two children, Taylor and Bryan.
[his portrait is illustrated above; representing Notre Dame in 1988, and Democratic Party nominee for Governor of Ohio in 2003]