Bruce Michael Fingerhut, Founder of St. Augustine’s Press, died on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at the age of 80.

“… [T]he battle that rages within us or without us has a real purpose, a real end, for our souls.”

The following obituary was published 26 May 2023 in The South Bend Tribune:

Bruce was born on April 30, 1943, to Helen and Albert Fingerhut in Washington, D.C. Raised Jewish, he grew up in the D.C. area with his younger brother Barry and he attended the University of Maryland. He met his wife, Laila Pedersen, on a date his mother arranged for him, and they were married for 57 years.

Bruce never stopped learning or trying new things. After earning his master’s degree from Maryland in Political Philosophy, he moved to South Bend to study under Dr. Gerhart Niemeyer at the University of Notre Dame. Inspired by his studies there, he converted to Christianity, which was foundational for most of his future pursuits.

His vocation in life was St. Augustine’s Press, which he founded in 1996, and it still thrives today. He published more than 500 books in philosophy, theology, and cultural and intellectual history. The press is known for publishing some of the world’s most important scholarly books of today.

Many people will remember Bruce as a soccer coach. Polio kept him from playing the sport himself, but when his son’s youth soccer team needed a coach, Bruce went to the library and studied the game. He coached each of his children and led multiple state-winning youth soccer teams. He later coached the boys’ high school team at Trinity School at Greenlawn and the I.U.S.B. women’s team.

He loved knowledge, his family, and his dogs. He took equal delight in discussing the intricate musings of Aristotle and Dostoevsky as he did in watching his grandchildren swim and pick strawberries in the backyard.

Taken from Joseph Pearce’s “Homage to a Culture Warrior,” published in Crisis Magazine on 14 June 2023:


“Focusing primarily but not exclusively on philosophy and theology, St. Augustine’s Press would publish classic works by the great saints and thinkers of Christendom, as well as new books by some of the great writers and thinkers of our own day. Any effort to list these would result in a litany of authors of unwieldy length. This being so, we’ll restrict ourselves to an alphabetical list of the illustrissimi: Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine, Averroes, Brague, Feser, Gilson, Girard, Hildebrand, Kreeft, Marcel, Maritain, McInerny, Niemeyer, Pieper, Schall, Scruton, and Suárez. 

Apart from arming a new generation of apologists with the hefty tomes of the great philosophers, which constitute the heavy artillery in the weaponry of the culture wars, Bruce could also be charmingly and endearingly quixotic in the titles he chose to publish. Take, for instance, I Surf, Therefore I Am, by Peter Kreeft, described as ‘the first book about surfing ever written by a philosopher’; or All Nature is a Sacramental Fire, a book of poetry by the political philosopher Michael Novak; or The Woman Who was Poor, Léon Bloy’s dark but redemptive novel about a Parisienne of the fin de siècle.”