Family Life and Education
Tom Regan was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
in 1938 to Thomas and Marie Regan. He grew up in the city, but when Regan was
fifteen, his parents moved to the suburbs. In high school he became interested
in literature and writing. He says he wrote horrible fiction and worse poetry.
He also played clarinet and tenor saxaphone in the school
band and made extra money playing big band music like Glenn Millerís in dance
bands and small combos. Regan also played football and golf and ran track.
He received his bachelor's degree from Thiel College
in 1960, and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia
in 1962 and 1966, respectively. As a graduate student, Regan studied and wrote
about "The Commendation Thesis." Before coming to NC State in 1967, Regan taught
at Sweet Briar College from 1965 to 1967. He served as head of the Philosophy
and Religion Department at NC State from 1995 to 1999.
1962 Tom Regan married Nancy Jane Tirk. They have two children, Bryan and Karen.
As newlyweds, the Regans acquired a dog named Gleco and treated him as a child.
Glecoís death in the summer of 1972 changed Tom Reganís life. He started to
think more about animal rights and became a vegetarian. This change led to the
publication of The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism. This work was anthologized
in numerous philosophy textbooks on contemporary ethical issues. In 1976 Regan
worked with philosopher Peter Singer on Animal Rights and Human Obligations.
They found that there was not much material available on the philosophy
of animal rights. In subsequent revised editions, the two professors realized
they had too much material to include in the volume. Reganís seminal work The
Case for Animal Rights came out in 1983 and was nominated for a Pulitzer
Prize. Shortly after its publication, Regan started work on a book about British
philosopher George Edward Moore called Bloomsburyís Prophet: G. E. Moore
and the Development of His Moral Philosophy, which was published in 1987.
Reganís recent works Defending Animal Rights (University of Illinois
Press, 2000) and The Animal Rights Debate with Carl Cohen (Rowman and
Littlefield, 2001) continue his groundbreaking work in Animal Rights.
are a few more images of Tom Regan's life. Tom Regan and his dog Tippy play
in the snow in Pennsylvania. Regan and his sister, Catherine, are pictured twice
in the early 1940s. He starred in North Allegheny High School's production of
Don't Take My Penny. Regan (left) and James Cargile (now a professor
at the University of Virginia) the day of their graduation from the masterís
program in philosophy at the University of Virginia. Regan and his parents are
pictured outside of the house where his parents lived as newlyweds in their
first apartment. Regan with Bitty (on his arm), Pulu, and Putsy (the cat).