Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Andrew M. Greeley  

Pen Name: 

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: 1928 in Oak Park, Illinois


Illinois Connection

After studies at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, Greeley received an AB from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Chicago in 1950, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) in 1952, and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) in 1954, when he was ordained. From 1954 to 1964 he served as an assistant pastor at Christ the King parish in Chicago, during which time he studied sociology at the University of Chicago. He received a Master of Arts in 1961 and then a PhD in 1962. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the influence of religion on the career plans of 1961 college graduates. At various times Greeley was a professor at the University of Arizona, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Father Greeley's first work of fiction to become a major commercial success was ''The Cardinal Sins'' (1981). He then put out the Passover trilogy: ''Thy Brother's Wife'' (1982), ''Ascent into Hell'' (1983), and ''Lord of the Dance'' (1984). After that, he wrote on average a minimum of two novels per year. In 1987 alone he produced four novels and two works of non-fiction.

Income generated from the sale of his books has been used to fund certain philanthropies. In 1986, Greeley established a $1 million Catholic inner-city School Fund, providing scholarships and financial support to schools in the Chicago Archdiocese with a minority student body of more than 50%. In 1984, he contributed a $1 million financial endowment to establish a chair in Roman Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago.

He also funded an annual lecture series, “The Church in Society”, at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, where he earned his S.T.L. in 1954.

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