Richard Hawley was born in 1945 in Chicago. He attended suburban public schools in Arlington Heights, Illinois, before attending Middlebury College, where he completed his B.A. in political science. He went on to graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University, where he earned an M.S. in Management Science and a Ph.D. in political philosophy. He also studied theology for a year at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, as an M.A. research student under the tutelage of the theologian W. Norman Pittenger.
In the fall of 1968 he began teaching at Cleveland’s University School, an independent college preparatory school for boys. He would go on to teach history, economics, philosophy and English literature, while also serving the school as history department chairman, dean of students, director of the Upper School, and, from 1988 until his retirement in 2005, Headmaster. In 1995 he was named the founding president of the International Boys Schools Coalition.
A writer of fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction, he has published more than twenty books and several monographs. His essays, articles and poems have appeared in dozens of literary, scholarly, and commercial journals, including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, American Film, Commonweal, America, Orion, and The Christian Science Monitor and is represented in many literary anthologies For ten years he taught fiction and non-fiction writing at The Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont, and he continues to teach developing writers in a variety of settings. Recent work, including work in progress, draws increasingly from depth psychology and classical philosophy to illuminate contemporary problems.
He has lectured extensively at universities, schools, and conferences in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. He is married to Mary Hawley, a painter and fabric artist. They live in Ripton, Vermont.