Father Wilson Miscamble of Notre Dame University has written a biography of his school’s legendary longtime President, the late Father Theodore Hesburgh. Here’s my video interview with Miscamble discussing American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hesburgh.
As Miscamble points out, his book is not hagiography. He notes Hesburgh was a prodigious institution builder and fundraiser who became a national personality across half a century. Hesburgh knew every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Obama. He became a prominent member of the east coast establishment, serving on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation. For many years he chaired the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, to which he was appointed by Eisenhower, and from which he was removed by Nixon.
But in his bid to put his school on par with great secular universities, Hesburgh sometimes minimized Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, though he did not want a secular school.
Miscamble is an Australian priest and historian who’s a great raconteur, so you will enjoy this conversation.