Peter J. Finley Sr. was born an only child to parents John J. Finley and Margaret Francis Dunn in 1931, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He grew up in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. Peter attended St. Francis Xavier School for grade school, La Salle Prep School afterwards—located at 1240 North Broad Street at the time—and La Salle College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1953. Peter’s connection to La Salle began early in his childhood; his father, John J. Finley, was in the College’s graduating class of 1924. Peter earned a master’s degree at the College of William and Mary in June of 1955, and shortly after joined the Marine Corps. In 1956, he was shipped to the Middle East with a battalion to patrol the Mediterranean. Peter married his wife Nancy in 1958 after two tours in the Middle East, and they settled down in Philadelphia, for a short time, to start a family; they would ultimately have five children. Peter worked as a clinical psychologist for the Vineland Training School, as superintendent for the John Helmbold Education Center, he earned his doctorate through Temple University in 1973, and all the while he remained in the U.S. Marine Reserve. He was then called to active duty to work as a psychologist for the Marines, developing screening tests for personnel of American embassies around the world. As a Colonel, he received the highest possible military clearance. He retired in 1998 and now lives with this wife in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.
Finley, Peter J. Ph.D. and Bassett, Meghan, "Interview of Peter J. Finley, Ph.D." (2013). All Oral Histories. 46.
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