Jim Daly (evangelist)

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Jim Daly
Born (1961-07-22) 22 July 1961 (age 61)
EducationCalifornia State University, San Bernardino
Regis University (MBA)
OccupationPresident and CEO of Focus on the Family
Spouse(s)Jean Daly

Jim Daly (born July 22, 1961) is the head of Focus on the Family, an international Christian communications ministry based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He succeeded founder James Dobson in 2005.

Daly is the main host of the Focus on the Family radio program.[1]

Early life, influence, education and career[edit]

Daly grew up in Southern California. According to Daly, he was abandoned by his alcoholic father at age 5, and orphaned by his mother's death from cancer when he was 9. He was then placed in a foster home, initially in Morongo Valley, California, until he moved in with his older brothers and then with his father, who eventually turned back to alcohol and died. By the time that Daly was a senior in high school, he was living on his own.[2]

Daly experienced a Christian conversion at 15 while attending a camp run by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He went on to study at California State University, San Bernardino, and eventually earned his Master of Business Administration from Regis University.[3]

Daly worked in the paper industry until he was recruited to join Focus on the Family, at one-third of his six-figure private-sector pay.[3]

He has served at Focus for 16 years in a variety of positions, including assistant to the president for Public Affairs, Vice President of the International Division, and a Group Vice President under former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Interior Donald P. Hodel (then Focus President), before ascending to the presidency.

Focus on the Family[edit]

Daly meeting with Kevin McCarthy in 2020.

In 2009, the Denver Post reported that Daly shared Dobson's views in the public-policy arena, but had taken a different approach from that of his predecessor. Daly referred to himself as more of an evangelist than a prophet.[3] He believed that the Christian community should demonstrate the values it wishes to promote, and maintain civil discourse.[3][4][5]

While Dobson's approach was often political, Daly and his colleagues have said that he is trying to make it less so.[6][7][8]

According to reports about a decade ago, Daly and his colleagues, similarly to Dobson, opposed abortion and same-sex marriage, but also wished to address issues other than these typical evangelical hot-button issues;[4] they "want[ed] to frame political work as an inspirational call to do good—not just to oppose what they view[ed] as sinful behavior."[6]

In a 2009 interview with the Washington Post, Daly stated,

I am pro-life, I am pro-traditional marriage. At the same time, I'm also a person who looks for the conversation. ... The question I have is, Where can we meet on common ground?

Daly also told the Post, "We will definitely be rigorous in the policy debate. We're not going to back out of that or back off expressing a biblical worldview in the public square."[9]

Daly said that he wished to make abortion much rarer as a step toward eliminating it.[10][11]

In addition to meeting with abortion rights groups at the state and local levels, Daly met with organizational leaders who were traditionally at odds with conservative Protestants, including the Colorado-based gay rights organization the Gill Foundation.[12] Daly also participated in the White House's Fatherhood Initiative.[4] With the Colorado Springs Independent the two organizations co-sponsored an event supporting foster families.[13]

Daly's childhood experience possibly influenced him to start Wait No More, an organization that encourages Christians to adopt children. Wait No More possibly led to a drop in the number of children in foster care in Colorado from 900 to 365.[14] Daly wants Colorado to become the first state to "wipe out the waiting list for foster care."[11]

In 2012, it was reported that Daly reached out to the younger generation through writing for Catalyst, a ministry that develops Christian leaders, and through various speaking engagements at venues such as Kings College in NYC, as well as "The Civil Conversations Project" from On Being with Krista Tippett, featuring conversation between Daly and Q Ideas leader Gabe Lyons.[15]

In 2017, an Associated Press story published by the Denver Post reported that under Daly, Focus on the Family "has scaled back involvement in politics ... [Daly] sees himself as part of a younger generation of religious leadership. ... 'Jesus does not go after Caesar much -- he dealt with people at their point of need,' Daly said, touting the ministry's radio show, counseling and efforts promoting foster care and adoption."[16] A similar assessment is made by religious-studies scholar Susan B. Ridgely, writing in 2017 that Daly has "reached out to second-generation evangelicals ... by softening Dobson's stance on homosexuality, matching anti-abortion rhetoric with pro-adoption and foster care discussion, and keeping open dialogue with all regardless of political party."[17]

Host of the daily radio broadcast[edit]

Daly hosts a radio broadcast with John Fuller.[1] He has interviewed numerous Christian leaders and notable guests, including Drew Brees, Pam and Bob Tebow, Dave Ramsey, Rosaria Butterfield, author Gary Chapman, Chuck Colson, Larry Crabb, Tim Keller, Kevin Leman, Max Lucado, Eric Metaxas, Jerry Jenkins, John Ortberg, Lee Strobel, Gary Thomas, Philip Yancey, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and former U.S. president George W. Bush.

Radio and media attention[edit]

Daly has appeared on national television programs such as Fox and Friends, Larry King Live, America Live with Megyn Kelly, and ABC World News Tonight. In 2010 he was named one of the nation's top new evangelical leaders by Newsweek.[citation needed] He relates the story of his difficult upbringing in the 2021 Kendrick Brothers documentary Show Me the Father.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family, David C. Cook Communications, 2007
  • Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength, David C. Cook Communications, 2010
  • ReFocus: Living a Life That Reflects God's Heart, Zondervan, 2012
  • The Best Advice I Ever Got on Parenting, Worthy Publishing, 2012 ISBN 9781936034482[18]
  • The Best Advice I Ever Got on Marriage, Worthy Publishing, 2012 ISBN 9781936034499[19]

Daly is also a regular panelist for The Washington Post/Newsweek blog "On Faith."


  1. ^ a b Electa Draper, "Denver Post", February 12, 2011 "Source 31", July 29, 2011
  2. ^ Finding Home by Jim Daly with Bob DeMoss 2007, Cook Communications
  3. ^ a b c d Electa Draper, "Denver Post", June 13, 2009, "Source 5", July 29, 2011
  4. ^ a b c Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn, "The Washington Post", June 27, 2009, "Source 3", July 29, 2011
  5. ^ Marvin Olasky, "The Kings College Podcast", March 30, 2011, "Source 11 Archived 2011-07-09 at the Wayback Machine", July 29, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Stephanie Simon, "The Wall Street Journal", February 5, 2010 "Source 14", July 29, 2011
  7. ^ David A. Graham, "Newsweek", December 9, 2010 "Source 15", July 29, 2011
  8. ^ Karen Tumulty and Nia-Malika-Henderson (June 2, 2011) "Republicans hope to spark political revival among evangelicals for 2012 race". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Interview with Jim Daly of Focus on the Family". Washington Post. June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2020.[dead link]
  10. ^ John Aloysius Farrell, "US News and World Report", July 1, 2009 "Source 16", July 29, 2011
  11. ^ a b J. Adrian Stanley, "Colorado Springs Independent", June 9–15, 2011, "Source 17", July 29, 2011
  12. ^ Adelle M. Banks, "Religion News Service", December 15, 2009. "Source 19", July 29, 2011
  13. ^ John Weiss, "Colorado Springs Independent", June 9–15, 2011, "Source 21", July 29, 2011
  14. ^ Andrea Stone, "aolnews", April 24, 2010, "Source 28 Archived 2011-01-30 at the Wayback Machine", July 29, 2011
  15. ^ Krista Tippett, "On Being" September 12, 2012 "Source 15" September 12, 2012
  16. ^ Riccardi, Nicholas; Wyatt, Kristen (June 23, 2017). "Pence visit to Focus on the Family comes amid time of change for religious right". The Denver Post. Associated Press. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  17. ^ Ridgely, Susan B. (2017). Practicing What the Doctor Preached: At Home with Focus on the Family. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 44 ISBN 9780199755073
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2014-06-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2014-06-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]