Social Icons

Social Connect

Thomas J. Hartman

  • Birthplace: Queens, New York
  • Birthday: May 22
Date of passing: 
February 16, 2016

Thomas J. Hartman was a Catholic monsignor and television personality best known for his contribution as one-half of the religious-discussion duo The God Squad. Along with Rabbi Marc Gellman, Hartman contributed to a cable show, radio program and a syndicated column of the same name.

The two employed levity, brevity and banter in their religious discussions and often appeared together on other programs, such as ABC’s Good Morning America.

Hartman was ordained in 1971 and obtained a doctor of ministry degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He hosted religious radio shows and was later recruited as director of the Rockville Centre diocesan television station, Telecare.

In 1987, local station News 12 Long Island recruited him for a segment on Easter and Passover. He was paired with Gellman, and the two began producing their cable television show the same year. The program, which lasted for two decades, began on Cablevision, moved to Telecare a decade later and reached 15 million viewers a week at its peak.

Thomas J. Hartman was a Catholic monsignor and television personality best known for his contribution as one-half of the religious-discussion duo The God Squad. Along with Rabbi Marc Gellman, Hartman contributed to a cable show, radio program and a syndicated column of the same name.

The two employed levity, brevity and banter in their religious discussions and often appeared together on other programs, such as ABC’s Good Morning America.

Hartman was ordained in 1971 and obtained a doctor of ministry degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He hosted religious radio shows and was later recruited as director of the Rockville Centre diocesan television station, Telecare.

In 1987, local station News 12 Long Island recruited him for a segment on Easter and Passover. He was paired with Gellman, and the two began producing their cable television show the same year. The program, which lasted for two decades, began on Cablevision, moved to Telecare a decade later and reached 15 million viewers a week at its peak.

In 1996, they contributed to the animated children’s television special, How Do You Spell God?: Answers to the Big Questions From Around the World. The HBO production was based on Hartman and Gellman’s book of the same name, which, much like their other mediums, attempted to answer questions about various religions. Narrated by Fred Savage, the special featured animated versions of the duo and followed the character of Megan Blackwood, voiced by Hayden Panettiere. The special won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program, as well as a Peabody Award. Hartman and Gellman also wrote Religion for Dummies together.

In 1996, Hartman had a small cameo as a reverend in the film The Mirror Has Two Faces, starring Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges and Lauren Bacall.

He died February 16, 2016, in Uniondale, New York. He was 69.

 

Show more