Marvin Olasky

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture

Marvin Olasky is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture. He edited World magazine from 1992 to 2021 and was a professor, provost, chairholder, and dean at The University of Texas at Austin, The King’s College, Patrick Henry College, and the World Journalism Institute from 1983 to 2021. He is the author of 28 books including The Tragedy of American Compassion, Fighting for Liberty and Virtue, Abortion Rites, Reforming Journalism, and Lament for a Father.


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Dr. Olasky earned an A.B. from Yale University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 1976. He was a Boston Globe correspondent and a Du Pont Company coordinator, and has written 5,000 articles for publications including World, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Fortune.

Dr. Olasky is a Presbyterian Church in America elder and has chaired the boards of City School of Austin and the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center. He has spoken on six continents and his writings have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Russian. He has been to 79 major league and spring training ballparks, all 254 Texas counties, and all three Delaware counties.

Marvin has been married for 45 years and has four sons, four daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He has been a foster parent, a PTA president, a cross-country bicycle rider, an informal advisor to George W. Bush, and a Little League assistant coach.

Archives

Homeless Encampments and Mental Illness

Fifty-one years ago I bicycled from Boston to Oregon. I was a Marxist then and looking for evidence of the American empire falling apart, but during the whole ten weeks on the road I didn’t see the one tourist attraction that would have delighted my propagandistic self: homeless encampments. Now every city seems to have them.

A Look at Community First! Village in Austin Pt. 2

I wrote last week about Community First! Village, located on relatively cheap land just east of Austin and getting national applause as the coolest homelessness project in what some call America’s coolest city. There’s plenty of hype in both characterizations, especially since many laudatory magazine articles focus on the tiny homes at CFV that draw admiring eyes, and not the dramas occurring within them.

Do Homeless Lives Matter? Nine Fatal Minutes, Two Years Later

Today’s police are trained not to take chances, said one retired SFPD who was on the force for 30 years: “Officers are now primarily reactive; there is very little of the self-initiated activity that was once common, appropriate and encouraged. They have become risk-averse, disinclined to go hands-on with suspects. This is a factor in the bigger picture of what is going on in American policing.”

Learning From History

In helping the homeless we should be both generous and discerning. If we only provide material help in a way that enables addiction and overlooks mental illness, our generosity may be selfishness that gives ourselves a warm glow but hurts others.