Born and raised in the Boston area, Philip Lawler attended Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, MA, where he won the state’s debating championship. He graduated with honors from Harvard College in 1972, majoring in Government. He did graduate work in political philosophy at the University of Chicago before settling into a career in journalism.
Mr. Lawler’s first career stop was in New Jersey, where he edited Prospect, a monthly magazine published by a Princeton alumni group. In 1979 he moved to Washington, DC, to become managing editor of Policy Review, a quarterly journal published by the Heritage Foundation. He was soon promoted to become Director of Studies at the Heritage Foundation, supervising the foundation’s scholarly research.
In 1984 he became editor of Crisis, a monthly journal of lay Catholic opinion. In 1986 he returned to Boston to become the first layman to edit The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. From 1993 through 2005 he was editor of the international monthly magazine Catholic World Report. In 1995 he founded Catholic World News, the first English-language news service operating on the internet.
Philip Lawler has been active in political campaigns, as a speechwriter and organizer, on the local, state, and national levels. He was appointed to the Inauguration Committees for President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and for President George Bush in 1988. In 2000 he himself was a candidate for the US Senate, running against Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Mr. Lawler is the author or editor of ten books, of which the most recent is Lost Shepherd, due for publication in February 2018. His essays and book reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines, including National Review, Crisis, The Critic, 30 Days, Modern Age, Policy Review, and the American Spectator. His columns have appeared in over 100 newspapers around the United States and abroad, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and Wall Street Journal.
Phil Lawler is married to Leila Marie Lawler, who is the author of The Little Oratory and God Has No Grandchildren as well as the popular blogger known as “Auntie Leila.” They have seven children and (at last count) a dozen grandchildren.