Terry Dolan (activist)

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John Terrence "Terry" Dolan (1950 – December 28, 1986) was an American New Right political activist who was a co-founder and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC).[1] Dolan was also, during the mid to late 1970s, in the leadership of Christian Voice, "the nation's oldest conservative Christian lobby".[2]

While Dolan was a proponent of family values and the organizations he led were persistently critical of gay rights, he was revealed to have been a closeted homosexual,[3][4][5][6] who frequented gay bars in Washington, D.C.[7] He died from complications of AIDS at the age of 36.[8]

Political activities[edit]

College Republicans[edit]

A native of Connecticut, Dolan became active in politics during his teens as a Republican volunteer. At age 21, he worked as a paid organizer in Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential re-election campaign.[9] The following year, he was a candidate for chairman of the College Republican National Committee but lost to Karl Rove.[10]

Christian Voice to Moral Majority[edit]

After Christian Voice co-founder Dr. Robert Grant ousted Dolan, Howard Phillips, and Richard Viguerie from the Christian Voice organization, the trio went on to help persuade Jerry Falwell to build a new Christian Right organization, the Moral Majority.[citation needed]

National Conservative Political Action Committee[edit]

Dolan was later a co-founder and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC).[1] He co-authored Reagan: A President Succeeds with Gregory Fossedal. His brother, Anthony R. Dolan, was also a political activist and Ronald Reagan's chief presidential speechwriter.[11]

Dolan was a member of the Council for National Policy Board of Governors, a member of the advisory board for CAUSA International (an educational, anti-communist organization founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon),[12][13] and Director of Conservatives Against Liberal Legislation (CALL).[14]


  1. ^ a b Elizabeth Kastor (1987), The Cautious Closet of the Gay Conservative; In the Life and Death of Terry Dolan, Mirror Images From the Age of AIDS, The Washington Post, May 11, 1987.
  2. ^ Christian Voice, Inc., archive.org.
  3. ^ Gallagher, John; Bull, Chris (May 13, 1997), Perfect Enemies, Crown Publishers, ISBN 0-517-70198-7, retrieved 2010-05-25
  4. ^ Rich, Frank (2005-05-15), "Just How Gay is the Right?", The New York Times, retrieved 2007-09-06
  5. ^ Shilts, Randy (2000), And the Band Played on, St. Martin's Press, p. 407, ISBN 0-312-24135-6
  6. ^ Lauerman, Kerry (June 23, 2012). "Terry Dolan". LGBT's worst foe: The Closet Monster. Salon.com.
  7. ^ Steve Endean (2006), Bringing Lesbian And Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress, Haworth Press; ISBN 1-56023-526-8, p. 269
  8. ^ Henry, III, William A. (1990-01-29), "Forcing Gays Out of the Closet", Time, retrieved 2007-09-06
  9. ^ The New Right Takes Aim, Time magazine, August 20, 1979.
  10. ^ Karl Rove: The Strategist, by Dan Balz, Washington Post, July 23, 1999.
  11. ^ Dolan, Tony: Files, 1981-1989 – Reagan Library Collections, retrieved 2007-09-06
  12. ^ Michael Isikoff, Church Spends Millions on its Image, The Washington Post, September 17, 1984, page A1.
  13. ^ Sun Myung Moon's Followers Recruit Christians to Assist in Battle Against Communism Christianity Today June 15, 1985.
  14. ^ John T. (Terry) Dolan Archived 2007-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, The Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies[unreliable source?]

External links[edit]