Dennis Prager is an American radio and talk show host, as well as author who has become known for his Christian rights views. Prager is of the opinion that America is a Christian nation and as such, frequently receives backlash from the far left who mostly perceive him as a conspiracy theorist. Originally a Jew, Prager is seen as the Billy Graham of Judaism. He is the founder of the online institution, PragerU, a non-profit organisation that analyses political, economic and philosophical topics from a conservative point of view. Follow us as we reveal more about one of America’s most respected speakers.
Dennis Prager – Bio
Dennis Mark Prager was born on the 2nd of August 1948 in Brooklyn, New York City, as the second son of Max Prager (1918–2014) and his wife Hilda Prager (née Friedfeld; 1919–2009) who were both worldly Orthodox Jews. His father was a world war II veteran who worked as an accountant while his mother was a nursing home administrator who had looks that could have made her pass for a model or Hollywood star.
Ironically, Dennis Prager, the man who would come to be renowned for talking, didn’t speak a word until he was four years old. Prager was one of those kids who found school boring, however, to keep himself from being too bored, he learned to spell words backwards. A charismatic and highly energetic young man, he was the class clown and as a result, was often sent to the principal’s office where the secretary even named a chair after him.
School work for Prager was just downright boring, he never got around to completing his homework. Consequently, Prager graduated number 82 out of a school of 110 students. Despite his dislike for school, Dennis Prager was a very honest and ethical young kid. When cheating became too much at his school – Yeshiva of Flatbush, a modern orthodox private day school in Brooklyn, Prager mounted a campaign against it. One would think that his bold step robbed him of friends but it didn’t, Dennis Prager simply had too much charm that no one could stay angry at him.
During his sophomore high school year, Prager became interested in classical music and all things Russia and began to study them on his own. He would later meet Joseph Telushkin who has been his lifelong friend. Telushkin is today, a Jewish rabbi and like Prager, a lecturer and best-selling author. The discussion among the two friends mostly centered on the Jewish religion and their discoveries would later form the key elements of the book “The 9 Questions People Ask About Judaism.” Published in 1975, the best-selling book has been described as the standard handbook to learn the basic principles of Judaism.
Prager’s new found interest in classical music, religion, and Russian history did nothing to improve his academics so he continued to churn out poor to average grades. As a result of his low grades, the only college, Prager could apply to was the Brooklyn College. At the school, he continued to pursue his passion for history and chose to study Middle Eastern Studies majoring in history.
Prager then participated in a school essay contest for which he emerged the winner and earned the prize which was a scholarship to study at the University of Leeds, in West Yorkshire England. At Leeds, Dennis Prager was contacted by the Isreali government who was in need of someone to smuggle Jewish artifacts into the Soviet Union and smuggle out names of Russian Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel. Despite the risk involved, Prager gladly accepted the mission.
Upon his return to the United States, Prager was asked by various Jewish groups to speak about his experience. This request opened the doors to Prager’s career as a lecturer which has seen him travel to over 131 countries and counting. Public speaking then opened the doors to a radio gig in the early 1980s. Prager had settled in Los Angeles and began hosting a Sunday night radio show called Religion on the Line which aired on KABC (AM).
The show quickly garnered traction, and soon began airing on Sundays and Saturdays and later became a weeknight show. Dennis Prager attracted many admirers among them, Hollywood writer and director, David Zucker who birthed an idea of a sketch comedy about Prager’s many ideas about goodness.
He then began working with Allen Estrin to develop the script which would be turned into a short comedy film titled, For Goodness Sake. It was released in 1993. Allen Estrin would also come to produce Prager’s nationally syndicated radio show and help to make it younger so as to appeal to the youths. In a bid to further reach the youths, the duo birthed the idea for Prager University in 2009. PragerU has expanded Prager’s reach not only demographically but geographically and keeps growing with a goal to have a worldwide reach.
Dennis Prager has no doubt been very successful in his career. He has published at least 8 books and produced not less than 5 movies. Prager’s work with the Jewish retreat, Brandeis-Bardin Institute from 1976 to 1983 became his first salaried job. From speaking fees, book sales and salary from radio, Dennis Prager has amassed a net worth of $5 million.
Family Facts – Wife and Kids
Dennis Prager has not been quite so lucky in the romantic department. He has had to undergo two divorces and is currently married to his third wife, Susan Reed. They were married in 2008. Prager was married to his first wife Janice from 1981 to 1986 and to his second wife Francine Stone from 1988 to 2005. He is not known to have kids.