Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is an American syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative political and social views emanating from conservative Judeo-Christian values. He holds that there is an "American Trinity" of essential principles, which he lists as E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty. Within the spectrum of conservative thought, Prager is best described as an adherent of neoconservatism.
Life and career
Prager was raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Hilda (née Friedfeld) and Max Prager. He attended Rambam, a Jewish day school and Yeshiva of Flatbush, where he met his future co-author Joseph Telushkin. He majored in Middle Eastern Studies and History at Brooklyn College, graduating in 1970. He went on to study at the Russian Institute (now Harriman Institute) at Columbia University. He speaks, and lectures in several foreign languages, including Russian and Hebrew. He taught Jewish and Russian Elana History at Brooklyn College, and was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he did his graduate work at the Russian Institute (now the Harriman Institute) and Middle East Institute from 1970–1972. He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also the founder of Prager University, a virtual university aimed at educating people through five-minute videos on conservative political and social views. He is the brother of physician and Columbia University faculty member Kenneth Prager and the uncle of former Wall Street Journal reporter Joshua Prager.
Prager married Janice Adelstein in 1981. They have one child. They divorced in 1986. Prager married Francine Stone, an actress, in 1988; Francine is a convert to Orthodox Judaism. The couple adopted one child, and divorced in 2005. Prager has been married to Susan Reed since 2008.
Views and opinions
Prager states that the U.S. is engaged in a "second civil war" (or culture war) over the fundamental moral values on which he believes American society was built. Prager argues that many influential American institutions (including universities, trial lawyers, labor unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, civil rights groups, and most large newspapers and television networks) are dominated by "secular leftists," who, he says, attack and misrepresent Judeo-Christian values and their positive historical effect upon America and the world. In 2005, 24 of his columns were devoted to explaining those values and how he believes they make the United States special.
On November 28, 2006, he wrote that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be allowed to take his Congressional oath using a Koran because "the act undermines American civilization." In response, former New York City Mayor Edward Koch termed Prager a "bigot" and called for an end to his service on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.  The Anti- Defamation League wrote that Prager's position was "intolerant, misinformed and downright un-American." On December 4, in an interview with Prager, Tucker Carlson criticized this, saying: "I'm no great defender of the Koran but I'm not sure why America is imperiled by Keith Ellison's taking the oath on it." In response, Prager explained, "It‘s not imperiled by his taking the oath on it, it‘s imperiled for substituting the Bible for the first time since George Washington had a Bible at his inauguration. ... The question is not what he believes in. The question is what is the central text of the American value system? That‘s why I think this is important. Otherwise I couldn‘t care less."
Prager's columns are handled by Creators Syndicate. He wrote for the Sunday Los Angeles Times "Current" section, and writes a weekly column published in newspapers such as the Washington Examiner and online at Townhall.com, National Review Online, Jewish World Review and elsewhere. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
He is also the author of five books:
- Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin) (1986) ISBN 0-671-62261-7
- Think a Second Time (1996) ISBN 0-06-098709-X
- Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (1999) ISBN 0-06-098735-9
- Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (with Joseph Telushkin) (2003) ISBN 0-7432-4620-9
- Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (2012) ISBN 0061985120
- Marnell Jameson (1998-02-04). "Mr. Morality". The Los Angeles Times.
- Sarah A. Vitale. "Who's who in California, Volume 20". Google Books.
- The Dennis Prager Show
- "Encyclopedia of Judaism - Sara E. Karesh, Mitchell M. Hurvitz - Google Books". Books.google.ca. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Dennis Prager Biography VIII". Luke Ford. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Dennis Prager Marries For Third Time". Luke Ford. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "The second American civil war: what it's about - Dennis Prager - Page full". Townhall.com. October 14, 2003. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Moral absolutes: Judeo-Christian values: Part XI – Dennis Prager – Townhall Conservative Columnists – Page 1
- Town Hall.com/columns
- Dennis Prager (November 28, 2006). "America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on". The American Thinker.
- ADL Statement on Dennis Prager's Attack On Muslim Congressman for Taking Oath of Office on Koran (December 1, 2006), Anti-Defamation League.
- 'Tucker' for Dec. 4
- Prager page on Creators.com
- Breaking News and Conservative Opinion on Politics – Townhall
- Official website
- Prager University
- Dennis Prager at the Internet Movie Database
- Dennis Prager Controversy in Joining the US Holocaust Memorial Museum from Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project
- Dennis Prager Features at Creators Syndicate
- Townhall columns
- Podcasts of Prager's recent articles
- Dennis Prager Biography
- Why Are Atheists So Angry? A Debate Between Prager and Sam Harris
- Booknotes interview with Prager on Think a Second Time, February 4, 1996.