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Ralph Matthew McInerny (February 24, 1929 – January 29, 2010) was an American author and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. McInerny's most popular mystery book series featured Father Dowling. This character was the basis for the Father Dowling Mysteries television show, which ran from 1987 to 1991.
He sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin and Monica Quill.
McInerny wrote his PhD dissertation entitled The Existential Dialectic of Soren Kierkegaard under Professor Charles De Koninck at Laval University (Quebec).
McInerny's brother Dennis, also a philosophy professor, believes that his brother's greatest legacy is not to be found in his novels, but in his adherence to scholastic and Thomistic beliefs.
McInerny was a Catholic. He married the former Constance Kunert January 3, 1953, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She preceded him in death on May 18, 2002. The McInernys had four daughters and three sons, one of whom, Michael, predeceased Ralph.
McInerny died of esophageal cancer on January 29, 2010. Those daughters who survived him were: Cathleen Brownell (North Barrington, IL), Mary Hosford (Baltimore, MD), and Anne Policinski (Wayzata, MN), The surviving sons were David (Overland Park, KS) and Daniel (Waco, TX). He is also survived by a grandson, Benjamin Hosford.