Early Days

Ted Hesburgh, born May 25, 1917, in Syracuse, N.Y., expressed a desire for the priesthood as a boy growing up there in a typical Catholic family. Despite a fascination with aviation, he joined the Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious order which had founded and operated the University of Notre Dame.

Even as a young man, Father Hesburgh’s intelligence, good sense, and resolve suggested a bright future. He was sent to Rome and Washington, D.C., for an advanced education, then returned to Notre Dame where he made his initial lasting impact as chaplain to the World War II veterans who lived on campus with their wives and children in Vetville.