An American Cardinal: The Biography of Cardinal Timothy Dolan


Cardinal Timothy Dolan is New York's larger than life Catholic leader. Known for his quick-witted one-liners, bellowing laugh, backslaps and bear hugs, he is now the most influential Catholic leader in the United States. Dolan was first propelled into the national spotlight when he was appointed to the Archdiocese of New York in 2009 but his profile has only continued to rise. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals within three years and became widely touted as a papal contender in the shock 2013 conclave to elect Pope Francis. He did not, of course, become the first American pope but, there are some who wonder if he is still young enough to be in with a second chance.

Conservative in his values but a concilliator in style, Dolan breaks the mold with his relaxed, down-to-earth approach. The oldest of five siblings, he was raised in a close knit blue-collar home by his stay-at-home mom and father who worked as a factory foreman. A group of nuns from Ireland also had a towering influence on his childhood. He is an obsessive St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan who loves beer, whiskey and a good cigar but, he does not shy from a battle. Dolan has taken on President Obama's healthcare mandate which forces religiously-affiliated institutions to provide contraception to employees and he clashed with Governor Andrew Cuomo over gay rights and abortion.

This biography looks at Dolan's journey from a small town in rural Missouri where his dream was to be a parish priest to the bully pulpit in the media capital of the world.