David Gibson is an award-winning religion journalist, author, filmmaker, and a convert to Catholicism. He came by all those vocations by accident, or Providence, during a longer-than-expected sojourn in Rome in the 1980s.
Gibson began his journalistic career as a walk-on sports editor and columnist at The International Courier, a tiny daily in Rome serving Italy's English-language community. He then found work as a newscaster across the Tiber at Vatican Radio, an entity he describes as a cross between NPR and Armed Forces Radio for the pope. The Jesuits who ran the radio were charitable enough to hire Gibson even though he had no radio background, could not pronounce the name "Karol Wojtyla," and wasn't Catholic.
When Gibson returned to the United States in 1990 he returned to print journalism to cover the religion beat in his native New Jersey for two dailies, most recently The Star-Ledger of New Jersey. Among other journalism prizes, Gibson won the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year Award, the top honor for journalists covering religion in the secular press. In November he will receive the top prize for opinion writing from the American Academy of Religion.
Since 2003, Gibson has been an independent writer specializing in religion in contemporary America and early Christian history. His first book, The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism, dealt with the clergy sexual abuse scandal, and his most recent book is a biography of the current pope, The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World.
He has co-written documentaries on early Christian and Jewish history for CNN, and has several film projects in development. He has written for leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, Boston magazine, Fortune, Commonweal, America and, yes, The Ladies Home Journal.
Gibson is a longtime member of the Religion Newswriters Association. He and his wife and daughter live in Brooklyn, and he is working on a book on conversion.