His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan was born on April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Thomas J. and Genevieve Costello Egan.
Having earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, he was sent to Rome to complete his seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City where he was ordained on December 15, 1957. In 1958, he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. After ordination, he returned to the United States in 1958, where he served briefly as a curate at Holy Name Cathedral Parish and later as assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago and secretary to His Eminence, Albert Cardinal Meyer. In 1960 Cardinal Egan was named assistant vice-rector and repetitor of Moral Theology and Canon Law at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City. In 1964, he earned a doctorate in Canon Law "Summa Cum Laude" from the Pontifical Gregorian University and thereafter returned to Chicago, where he served first as secretary to His Eminence, John Cardinal Cody, and later as the co-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In 1971 Cardinal Egan returned to Rome as a judge of the Tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota, a position he held until his episcopal consecration in May of 1985. While in Rome, he was as well a professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University; a professor of Civil and Criminal Procedure at the Studium Rotale, the law school of the Rota; a commissioner of the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship; a consultor of the Congregation for the Clergy; and in 1982 one of six canonists who reviewed the new Code of Canon Law with His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, before its promulgation in 1983. Cardinal Egan was consecrated a bishop on May 22, 1985.
Cardinal Egan served as Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar for Education of the Archdiocese of New York from 1985 - 1988. On November 8, 1988, Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Egan to be the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. He was installed on December 14, 1988. On May 11, 2000 Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of New York and on February 21, 2001 was elevated to the College of Cardinals.