James Dobson Biography

(One of America's Most Influential Evangelical Leaders Ever)

Birthday: April 21, 1936 (Taurus)

Born In: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

James Dobson is an American psychologist, evangelist and author, who founded the Christian conservation organisation ‘Family Talk’. The host of the successful radio show ‘Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk’ was once considered the most influential spokesman for conservative social positions. He was also known as America’s most influential evangelical leader. His radio show ‘Focus on Family’ was broadcast in more than 164 countries in several languages via 7,000 stations. The radio program also found a place in ‘The National Radio Hall of Fame’. Dobson earned his doctorate in psychology from the ‘University of Southern California’, in addition to receiving honorary doctorate degrees from several other universities. His books on parenting and teaching have sold millions of copies across the globe, while film series produced by him have been watched by millions of viewers. The evangelical Christian writer has also played a crucial role in governmental affairs over the years. On top of that, he was consulted by several US presidents, seeking his advice on family matters.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: James Clayton Dobson, Jr.

Age: 88 Years, 88 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Shirley Dobson

father: James C. Dobson, Sr.

mother: Myrtle Georgia

children: Danae Dobson, Ryan Dobson

Born Country: United States

Preachers Psychologists

political ideology: Republican

Notable Alumni: Point Loma Nazarene University

U.S. State: Louisiana

Ideology: Republicans

City: Shreveport, Louisiana

Founder/Co-Founder: Focus on the Family (FOTF)

More Facts

education: University Of Southern California, Point Loma Nazarene University

awards: 1982 - Layman of the Year

  • 1

    What are some key principles of parenting according to James Dobson?

    Key principles of parenting according to James Dobson include setting boundaries, being consistent, showing love and affection, and providing discipline when necessary.
  • 2

    What is James Dobson's stance on discipline in parenting?

    James Dobson advocates for a balanced approach to discipline, emphasizing the importance of setting clear rules and consequences while also showing love and understanding towards the child.
  • 3

    How does James Dobson address the topic of raising boys?

    James Dobson emphasizes the importance of providing boys with positive male role models, teaching them responsibility and respect, and guiding them through the challenges of adolescence.

  • 4

    What is James Dobson's view on the impact of media on children?

    James Dobson has raised concerns about the negative influence of media on children, highlighting the importance of monitoring and limiting their exposure to harmful content.
  • 5

    How does James Dobson suggest handling conflicts between parents and teenagers?

    James Dobson recommends open communication, mutual respect, and setting clear expectations to handle conflicts between parents and teenagers effectively.

Childhood & Early Life
James Clayton "Jim" Dobson, Jr. was born on April 21, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana. His parents Myrtle Georgia and James C. Dobson, Sr. brought him up in a very religious environment. He is related to the Church of the Nazarene ministers.
Born to an evangelist, Dobson often travelled with his family and observed his father preach. In accordance to Nazarenes rules, he did not watch movies or dance programs while he was growing up. Instead, he devoted all his energy and focus on completing his education.
He studied academic psychology at the Pasadena College, which is now called the ‘Point Loma Nazarene University’. During his college days, he was an avid sportsperson who led the university’s tennis team. He graduated from the ‘University of Southern California’ with a doctorate in psychology in 1967.
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James Dobson started his career as an associate clinical professor of paediatrics at the ‘University’s Keck School of Medicine’, where he worked for 14 years. He also served as a visiting faculty at ‘Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles’ for 17 years.
He assisted Paul Popenoe at the marriage counselling centre in the ‘Institute of Family Relations’, Los Angeles. Popenoe is considered the father of marriage counselling in the United States.
Throughout his career, Dobson has been embroiled in numerous controversies, mainly due to his religious views and opinions on several sensitive topics.
His first book ‘Dare to Discipline’, published in 1970, focusses on parenting tips. The book, which guides parents on how to discipline their children with love and punishment, became a bestseller. However, it was criticised for seeming like lessons from the bible rather than a clinical study-based comprehensive guide for parents.
He received a lot of flak after interviewing serial killer Ted Bundy on January 23, 1989. The fact that a psychopathic murderer was given a chance to justify his actions did not sit well with several viewers. Later, that year, he asked the people of America to forgive Ted Bundy. Dobson’s NGO earned a revenue of around $1 million from Ted Bundy’s interview tapes, 60% of which was donated to anti-pornography and anti-abortion groups.
In his book ‘Marriage Under Fire’, published in 2004, Dobson emphasised the importance of marriage and disapproved homosexuality. He fiercely propagated the belief that a sexual union should only happen between a man and a woman. He claimed that any sexual activity “outside of the law of nature” is not accepted by god.
Dobson, who is known for his homophobic beliefs, stated that homosexuality is neither a choice nor the inherent nature of man, but a condition caused by several external factors one was exposed to during childhood. He claims that homosexuality can be cured while citing some so-called methods that can help gay men and women overcome same sex attraction.
His NGO actively promoted the idea of giving food vouchers and tax credits to religious institutions. People largely rejected the idea, saying that it would coax Christian teachers to start prayer groups in school.
Dobson was part of the Vatican conference, held in 2000, which discussed the impact of the global economy on families. He and the fellow protestant Charles Colson were also given the opportunity to speak with Pope John Paul II.
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His influence on the Christian community played a huge role in swaying conservative Americans’ votes in favour of George W. Bush in 2005.
In 2009, Dobson signed the Manhattan Declaration, which instructs evangelicals, Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians to straight away dismiss rules and laws that legalize abortion, same-sex marriage and other issues that do not fall in line with their religious beliefs.
Family & Personal Life
James Dobson married Shirley Deere on August 26, 1960. The couple has two children together, Danae and Ryan.
His son Ryan Dobson is a public speaker, who is also involved in several youth-related issues. Ryan actively supports adoption.
The Dobson family currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Facts About James Dobson
James Dobson has a passion for woodworking and enjoys creating intricate furniture pieces in his spare time.
He is an avid collector of vintage vinyl records and has an extensive collection spanning multiple genres.
James Dobson is also a talented painter and often finds inspiration for his artwork in the natural world around him.
He is known for his quirky sense of humor and enjoys playing practical jokes on his friends and family.
In addition to his professional work, James Dobson is a dedicated volunteer at a local animal shelter, where he helps care for and find homes for abandoned pets.
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