Regnery was born to a wealthy textile manufacturer on January 5, 1912  in Hinsdale, Illinois, the next to youngest of five children. He obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1934, and an M.A. from Harvard University, where he worked with Joseph Schumpeter. He also studied at Armour Institute of Technology, and from 1934 to 1936 at the University of Bonn. Shortly after, he became a member of the America First Committee.
He financed the creation of Human Events in 1944. His publishing company, the Henry Regnery Company, now known as Regnery Publishing, would go on to publish two conservative classics, William F. Buckley's God and Man at Yale (1951) and Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind (1953).
He was a member of the American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Literary Club. He was also for a time the President of the Philadelphia Society. He was a trustee of Shimer College in the early 1960s. His papers are kept at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Regnery died in Chicago on June 18, 1996, of complications of brain surgery.
- Creative Chicago: From the Chap-Book to the University
- The Cliff Dwellers: The History of a Chicago Cultural Institution
- Memoirs of a Dissident Publisher
- NNDB webpage
- Robert McG. Thomas Jr, 'Henry Regnery, 84, Ground-Breaking Conservative Publisher', in The New York Times, June 23, 1996 
- Jeffrey O. Nelson, 'Henry Regnery: Missionary of Culture', in The Intercollegiate Review, Fall 1996, pp.14-22
- First Principles Journal biography
- Chicago Literary Club biography
- The Philadelphia Society
- "Board of Trustees". Shimer College Record 52 (4). December 1960.
- Henry Regnery papers
- Thomas Jr., Robert McG., "Henry Regnery, 84, Ground-Breaking Conservative Publisher", obituary, The New York Times, June 23, 2007.
- Intercollegiate Studies Institute biography