Thomas Donaghy was born in 1928 in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania to Henry and Ann Donaghy. His father worked for Philadelphia Electric and his mother was a homemaker. He attended Catholic schools, including West Catholic High in Philadelphia, and committed to the Christian Brothers in 1946. Having received his B.A. in History at Catholic University in 1952, he taught at St. Francis Vocational School, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, and La Salle College High School. He completed his doctoral dissertation at Pittsburgh University on the history of the Manchester Railway. Hired to teach at La Salle College in the History Department, he attained full professorship and directed the summer school. His numerous books and articles included the centennial history of the college, "Conceived in Crisis: A History of La Salle College, 1863-1965." He left the Christian Brothers and was ordained as a priest circa 1976.
Donaghy, Thomas Ph.D. and Robinson, Craig, "Interview of Thomas Donaghy, Ph.D." (2007). All Oral Histories. Paper 21.
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