Prager speaking at the California Capitol Building, 2008
August 2, 1948 |
New York City
|Occupation||Radio host, political commentator, author, and television personality|
|Spouse(s)||Janice Goldstein (1981–1986; divorced; 1 child)
Francine Stone (1988–2005; divorced; 1 child)
Susan Reed (2008–present)
Dennis Prager (//; born August 2, 1948) is an American nationally syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative political and social views grounded in "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, expressions that appear on US coins.
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 online institution that creates five minute educational videos. Video contributors include Arthur Brooks, Paul Johnson, Tim Groseclose, Bruce Herschensohn. New videos are added once a week. Prager is distantly related to San Antonio Spurs player Manu Ginobili.
Views and opinions
Prager states that the U.S. is engaged in a culture war over the fundamental moral values on which he believes American society was built. He argues that influential institutions including universities, labor unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, civil rights groups, as well as trial lawyers and most large newspapers and television networks are dominated by "secular leftists". He says they 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 also 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 has condemned some criticism of Israel. In 2011, Prager called Israel's apartheid analogy "a libel". He also believes that "Israel would like to exist and recognizes the right of the Palestinians to have a state; the Palestinians, however, and many other Muslims and Arabs, do not recognize the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist."
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
- "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.
- Dennis Prager Controversy in Joining the US Holocaust Memorial Museum from Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project.
- 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
- "Dennis Prager: Is Israel an Apartheid State?". World Jewish Congress. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Israel -- an Apartheid State?". RealClearPolitics. August 30, 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "The Middle East Problem". Prager University. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- Prager page on Creators.com
- Breaking News and Conservative Opinion on Politics – Townhall
- Official website
- Prager University
- Dennis Prager at the Internet Movie Database
- Prager's books at Amazon.com
- Dennis Prager Features at Creators Syndicate
- Townhall columns
- 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.