Every town has its heroes and legends. Missoula has quite a few memorable characters in our rich history, one of which is someone we hear about every Saint Patrick's day. I'm talking about the legend of Tommy the Leprechaun a.k.a Tommy Dorset.

As Corey G Lewis wrote in a post on Facebook

Tommy the Leprechaun was a legend in Montana. Street cat, made ends meet entertaining. Knew him from my hometown of Livingston and my years spent in Missoula. He finally received the respect he deserved and was the Grand Marshal in Butte and Missoula during their St. Patty's Day Parade.

Tommy became known all over Montana and especially Missoula. He was a homeless man who made his home in everyone's hearts. He could be seen in front of the Missoula Courthouse, playing guitar and singing his heart out, performing not only songs but also magic tricks, as well as telling some hilarious jokes.

In an interview with Tommy, he said:

I find work everywhere I go. I'm not a bum. I am a hobo. I am a tramp. I am a traveling minister. I am in one of the oldest professions mankind knows. People who go from town to town to sing for people. I am a dying breed.


Tommy the Leprechaun passed away in June of 2003, at the age of 53.

It goes without saying that Missoula sure does miss seeing Tommy around. His ability to make everyone smile was impressive. His outlook on life as a whole was priceless.

This St. Patrick's day, take a few minutes to watch a great documentary film of Tommy and listen to him explain life in his own words.

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