iOS app Android app

Eliot Daley
My career spans multiple causes and enterprises. Early in my career I taught and counseled at both the high school and college levels, was a chaplain (Middlebury College) and a parish minister, and early student of the social impact of TV. This led to my association with Fred Rogers, where I served as President of the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” organization and wrote many scripts for the program in its early years.

Subsequently, I founded or co-founded several consulting companies. The first of these provided counsel to philanthropists, foundations and major corporations like AT&T to optimize their charitable contributions. Another of my companies developed long-range strategy for health care organizations including Mayo Clinic and Johnson & Johnson. Later, I was a leader in several medical technology companies, from which pursuits I retired to devote myself to full-time writing.

I am the author of Father Feelings (William Morrow and Pocketbooks), Sick and Tired of Being Fat (HarperCollins and Hazelden), numerous articles and Op-Eds and letters to the Editor. I have completed manuscripts for two more books, Taking Your Lumps (a lessons-learned-in-business memoir) and Formerly Called Retirement (reflections on the transition to a world beyond the realm of employment). Much of my work can be found on my website "Out of My Mind" (

I hold the A.B. and M.A. degrees in the social sciences and education, respectively, from California State University at Fresno and the B.D. degree in theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Church USA). I am married to the Rev. Patricia Daley, and we are the parents of three adult children. In addition to spending time with my family and other friends, my personal delights include tennis, sailing, golf, travel, theater, music, books, auto racing, fireworks, worship, kite-flying, writing, singing, and daydreaming.

Entries by Eliot Daley

How Long Will New Jersey Remain the 'Garden' State?

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 6:14 PM

Those who only pass through New Jersey may wonder why we residents would ever call it The Garden State. Our daughter learned this while introducing herself at a gathering of fellow freshmen at college; when she said she was from New Jersey, a snide questioner replied, "New Jersey, eh? What...

Read Post

Humpty Dumpty Meets Le Droit du Seigneur

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 5:25 PM

The Supreme Court is now on the brink of a trifecta that will doom all corporate employees to a healthcare-version of le droit du seigneur, the medieval privilege of the employer to deflower an employee's bride.

The "Citizens United" ruling that a "corporation" is a "person" entitled to any person's...

Read Post

Death by Chocolate: The Tragedy, Not the Dessert

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 1:48 PM


You know the scene: the cheery holiday house decorated with lights and greenery and candies and candles and people -- our house filled to overflowing this week with all three of our adult children, their spouses, their children, and their dogs. Four small...

Read Post

Putting the "F" Word in Its Place

(38) Comments | Posted November 28, 2013 | 6:43 PM

I've come to the conclusion that, with few exceptions, stand-up comics who use the "F" word are simply lazy and untalented.

I don't reach that conclusion as a prude from whose lips the word has never flown, and I'll go on to describe some pretty good occasions to use it....

Read Post

On the Other Hand, That $100M Could...

(10) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 4:40 PM

Hey, I'm all in favor of helping fellow human beings in distress, but...

But? There's a "but"?

Yep. Here's the thing. When I was studying theology in a seminary many years ago, one professor reflected on the well-known biblical story of "The Good Samaritan." In it, a Samaritan traveler comes...

Read Post

Who Can Best Fake Fred Rogers' Sincerity?

(4) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 4:49 PM

With the recent announcement of "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood", an impending biopic on Fred Rogers, the Internet lit up with suggestions of what actor might play him in the film. It would be dangerously easy to underestimate this casting challenge, given how often and effortlessly entertainers have done...

Read Post

Pressure Cookers Kill Political Courage, Too

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 1:05 PM

However tragic the effects of a pressure cooker filled with explosive powder and shrapnel, there is a worse way to use one: cook elected officials to death. That's the effect of the gun-lobby pressure cooker where they turn up the heat until members of Congress wilt into spineless mush.


Read Post

How to Wreck an Opera-goer's Experience

(7) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 12:11 PM

You have to figure that when a composer requests that you not applaud his creation, there's probably a reason that has nothing to do with humility. That is why my maiden voyage to the Metropolitan Opera's cinematic display of live performances in local theaters was at once thrilling and dismaying....

Read Post

The Keystone Hypodermic: One Last Fix?

(9) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 9:02 PM

With publications as influential and far-flung as The Washington Post, The San Diego Union-Tribune and Nature magazine all having nice things to say about approval for the Keystone pipeline, who am I to offer a contrary perspective? Well, I'll tell you: I am a recovering addict, and that makes me...

Read Post

Chicken Little Was Right: Skyfall Falls With a Thud

(24) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 4:48 PM

Note this piece contains spoilers. Do not read on if you have not yet seen "Skyfall."

Thanks to a friend who is a judge for the Oscars, we sat by the fireside last night and watched a judges' DVD edition of Skyfall, the latest of the long-running James Bond...

Read Post

Discovering Why Mitt Romney Lies So Much

(29) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 12:33 AM

Mitt. Oh, Mitt. Whatever became of you, anyhow? How did you go from being the guy I voted for as governor of Massachusetts to a guy who is this unrepentant and embarrassing liar? I just feel so sad to see a once-decent fellow prostitute himself so blatantly at every turn,...

Read Post

Romney Re-Floats the Swift Boat

(1) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 9:50 AM

With his blatantly dishonest "Jeep" ad accusing President Obama of ruining the American auto industry, Governor Romney has pulled out the last desperate arrow in his quiver: the Swift-Boat tactic.

You will recall that during the 2004 presidential campaign, a group of President Bush supporters calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans...

Read Post

You Probably Missed the Obama/Romney Debates

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 8:52 AM

While an impressive-sounding 70 million Americans viewed the presidential debates on TV, that means twice as many registered voters (137,000,000) did NOT see the debates. As a public service to them, I present below my summary of what they missed.

The Middle Class

"I'm severely devoted...

Read Post

Governor Romney Channels Prof. Harold Hill

(8) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 5:46 PM

Okay, so here's a really painless way to understand what Governor Romney is up to. Just get your hands on a DVD of The Music Man and settle back for an entertaining lesson in flimflamming the rubes.

Right at the outset of the film, as not-really-"Professor" Harold Hill -- huckster...

Read Post

Obama to Romney: A Nation Is Not Like a Company

(37) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 10:40 AM

Smooth-talking, good-looking Mitt Romney made a forceful depiction of both the failure of President Obama to keep Candidate Obama's promises to improve the economy, and of his own presumed knowledge of how to create jobs that will heal our economy. Left unchallenged, the apparent validity of these two assertions may...

Read Post

Voter Suppression Is Treason

(115) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 6:00 PM

Voter suppression is treason.

Yes, that's what I said: treason.

I know that is an extreme word. There are few words in the English language uglier than "treason." It strikes at the gut, triggers a shiver of revulsion, prompts incredulity. How could any American really commit treason?

But then we...

Read Post

Redefine Marriage? Well, Certainly!

(39) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 12:10 PM

When the framers of our Constitution defined "voter," here is what they prescribed: white male property owners.

Oops. Guess that leaves out a lot of the people you know and love, right?

So over time, we wised up as a country and began to evolve that definition. It took...

Read Post

Can Love Incarnate Be Delivered by TV?

(8) Comments | Posted October 13, 2012 | 9:55 AM

If you ever needed convincing that love incarnate trumps even the most well constructed depictions of loving, all you need to do is compare an episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" with an episode of "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," the new TV production from The Mister Rogers Company. Drawing on all the...

Read Post

Microfinance Pioneer Grameen Bank Weakened by Bangladeshi Government Meddling

(5) Comments | Posted August 23, 2012 | 3:27 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh seems bent on destroying the best elements of the Grameen Bank whose loans to poor women inspired a global movement now enabling more than 135,000,000 borrowers to become self-employed. More than a year ago, she engineered the spectacularly illogical dismissal of Prof. Muhammad Yunus,...

Read Post

Repeated Military Deployment Is Like Waterboarding

(6) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 11:42 AM

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' alleged slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians highlights the folly of our repeatedly deploying a tiny fraction of Americans to fight our wars. Because we have eschewed universal military service, we currently rely on a tiny cadre of 309,670 soldiers to do our killing and...

Read Post