Joe Kelly (author)

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Joe Kelly (born 1954) is an author known primarily for books about fathering. He was co-founder, with Michael Kieschnick, of a national advocacy nonprofit for fathers and daughters in the United States, Dads and Daughters (DADs),[1] which operated from 1999 until 2008. In 1993, he helped his wife Nancy Gruver to found New Moon, edited by girls 8- to 14-years old girls.[2]

He is best known for the book Dads & Daughters, which discusses issues for fathers and stepfathers raising daughters. In it (p. ix), he writes:

"Every father can make a huge difference in his daughter's life. A father is the first man his daughter knows. With that potent position of “first man” comes the ability to set the norm of manliness for her—a norm that ultimately can be stronger than what anyone else tells her. When we truly listen to our daughters, we help reduce the odds that our girls will be caught in a cultural straight-jacket that limits her options and behavior because of her gender. We can fight the effects of the gender straight-jacket by never requiring or expecting our daughters to wear it when they are with us – and thus helping her feel a freedom she may not have elsewhere."

Kelly is a media source on fathering, featured on programs like The Today Show (May 5, 2002) and in publications like New York Times[3] (September 17, 2000).

Before working on girls’ and fathering issues, Kelly was a reporter, producer, and regional news director for Minnesota Public Radio.


  • Kelly, Joe (May 14, 2002). Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast (hardcover 1st. ed. ed.). Broadway. ISBN 0-7679-0833-3. 
  • Kelly, Joe (January 7, 2014). The Idiot’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dads (paperback ed.). Alpha. ISBN 978-1615644346. 
  • Kelly, Joe (April 2, 2013). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a New Dad (paperback ed.). Alpha. ISBN 978-1615642472. 
  • Kelly, Joe (May 4, 2004). Pocket Idiot’s Guide for the Expectant Father (paperback ed.). Alpha. ISBN 1-59257-224-3. 
  • Maine, Margo; Joe Kelly (June 28, 2005). The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect (hardcover ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-69158-5. 
  • Kelly, Joe (May 14, 2007). The Dads & Daughters Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship (paperback 1st. ed. ed.). Broadway. ISBN 0-7679-2469-X. 
  • Wildes, Lyle; Joe Kelly (January 1, 2009). The Positive Attitude Development Workbook (paperback 1st. ed. ed.). Duluth, MN: Whole Person Associates. ISBN 978-1570252280. 

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Parenting magazine’s 1995 Parenting Achievement Award: 1995 with wife Nancy Gruver
  •’s Dad of the Year: 2001
  • Women’s Sports Foundations Title IX Father of the Year: 2004
  • Eating Disorders Coalition’s Activist of the Year award: 2004
  • New Moon is the only child-edited publication to win the Parent’s Choice Foundation Gold Award multiple times.


Born in northern New Jersey in 1954, Kelly grew up in Ohio and Southern New Jersey. He attended LeMoyne College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Superior. He and his wife have twin daughters who were born in 1980.


  1. ^ "The Father of Dads and Daughters". Superior Alumni. Fall 2007. 
  2. ^ New Moon (magazine)
  3. ^

External links[edit]