Patrick Lee is the John N. and Jamie D. McAleer Professor of Bioethics and the director of the Institute of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is known nationally as a keynote speaker and author on contemporary ethics, especially on marriage and the value of human life.
Lee was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and was taught by Sisters of the Holy Spirit (from Ireland) in grade school and Dominican priests in high school. He is very grateful to his parents, his brother, and his grade school and high school teachers for the clear witness they bore to the goodness, breadth, and reasonableness of the Catholic faith. Lee did not apply himself well as a student in grade school or high school (excepting a geometry class in sophomore year) until Mr. Robert Rando’s senior year religion class, which was based directly on St. Thomas’s Summa Theologiae.
After a year at a local Community College, Lee attended University of Dallas, receiving a BA in 1974. He received an MA in philosophy from Niagara University in 1977, and a PhD in philosophy from Marquette University in 1980. He taught philosophy at St. Francis seminary in Milwaukee (1978-1981) and University of St. Thomas in Houston (1981-1992). All the while, he worked second jobs to makes ends meet for his growing family, including at different times as a bartender, a grocery store stocker, and—for the longest period—a wedding and portrait photographer (some of his portraits winning full merit awards from the Professional Photographers Association of America or the Houston Photographers Gulid).
In 1992 Lee began teaching philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville. In 2007 he was appointed to direct Franciscan University’s Institute of Bioethics, which hosts annual conferences and offers specific classes on contemporary ethical issues for healthcare professionals and the general public. As director, Lee defends and articulates the natural law theory’s positions on human life and marriage through his writings, debates, and public speaking engagements. His expertise includes such hot-button bioethical issues as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, sexual morality, and same-sex unions.
His books include Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics: (Cambridge University Press) with Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University, and Abortion and Unborn Human Life (Catholic University of America Press). He has published over 40 articles in refereed journals or books, and is a regular contributor to popular publications such as First Things, National Review Online, New Atlantis, and The Public Discourse.
Lee has recently lectured or debated at Boston University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin at Wausau, Baylor University, Fordham University, and Princeton University. He is a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Lee delivered the Olaf Tollefsen lecture at St. Anselm's College in New Hampshire in 2003 and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture at University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas in 2005. In 2006 he was presented the Cardinal Wright Award for excellence in the integration of faith and reason, by the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.