Michael J. Kerrigan

Tom Lynch

Restoring Character in America was the hardest of my books to publish. The first book, Politics with Principle was written from my 30 plus years of experience as a Washington Lobbyists. The second, Courage in America was a natural outcome of gaining the trust of the wounded warriors and just guiding them on their story of successful rehabilitation.

The idea of Restoring Character in America did not come easily to me. I read endless books, articles, and visited numerous web sites on several character related topics. Initially my plan was to write a book about our law enforcement heroes. I thought this would be a logical extension of the heroic qualities of the wounded warriors I knew. I had already reported on the wounded warriors traumatic loss, their vulnerability in rehabilitation, then their comeback, the final triumph of successful rehabilitation and transition to civilian life.

In my opinion, our country… Continue reading



On December 19, 2016 the following list of attendees participated in a character summit. The next several posts will address the content of that summit.

RADM Thomas C. Lynch, USN (Ret)

Chairman New Day USA

Michael J. Kerrigan

Owner of The Character Building Project

Greg Mooney

President & Executive Director Comer Science & Education Foundation

Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D.

Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development

Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D.

Founder & CEO Peak Learning

Michael D. Matthews

Professor of Engineering United States Military Academy

Sarah Clement, Ph.D.

Director, Character Virtue Development John Templeton Foundation

Dr. Josephine J. Templeton

Trustee of John Templeton Foundation

Leah Jewell

Managing Director Career Development & Employability

Pearson Education

Jerry L. Johnson

Founder & CEO Axum Advisors, LLC

Jeri Lynne Johnson

Founder and Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra


I have had a blessed life. I am the beneficiary of my loving wife of 45 years. We now transition to our “next chapter” by having the gratification of watching our three children carefully, raise their families in the faith of our fathers. Not having spoiled our three, we can have the joy of spoiling our twelve grandchildren.

While I am well aware of these blessings, reading Sirach reminds me not to take so many friends for granted. Many of my friends have demonstrated the excellence of their moral character by contributing not only to our country but also by finding the time to support The Character Building Project.

Several of the “characters with character” profiled on Politics with Principle, have actively supported our mission to improve character in our country. Charlie Black when accepting a ”Lobbyists of the Year” award speaks of the virtue of humility. Bill Bulger counsels… Continue reading

This afternoon, you will be briefed about the virtues needed to be an ethical leader, the temptations and struggles of several of the characters in Politics with Principle and several lessons I learned from them.My character-building quest took to most of the 50 states and halls of congress… ten characters with character were identified as ethical leaders. Two of the four Catholic characters will be profiled today and some lessons learned from all ten will be shared with you. Continue reading

What story will be written in your obituary? Will it consist only of the facts, where you lived, worked and died, or will your story be something more meaningful? Will your life story peak at our career success or will it encompass true character growth honed by ethical life choices made under pressure?  Continue reading


In the next 15 minutes, I will discuss my book and the virtues needed to be an honest politician. Then I will profile two of the four Catholic characters and share some lessons learned. Continue reading

The character of each of the characters in Politics with Principle is made up of various parts. There are the inherited tendencies, which each naturally possess. There are the habits each acquired which form their “second natures.” There is the environment, which each character was raised. Continue reading

Politics with Principle: Ten Characters with Character demonstrates it is possible for public servants to achieve success in the political arena without lying, cheating, or stealing along the way. The careers of the ten show civility and good character are not impediments to success, but critical elements of professional and personal success. Continue reading

The current attitude toward the American political community is less than positive. Over the last 40 years, cynicism toward political life has grown. Today, few believe there are men and women of good character serving our Republic.

I believe we must work hard to cure this cynicism; such a view threatens the very Republic that brought us the liberties we uniquely enjoy in America.  To counter this cynicism,  it is important to note public servants who stood fast in a time of crisis, to honor those who maintained their responsibility and duty when tempted by the allure of power and notoriety.  Continue reading

Bill, thank you for today’s splendid, timely and hopeful column… From The South Bronx to West Point. Another nice touch was for you to notice the credo* on the wall outside the principal’s office. In writing Politics with Principle: Ten Character with Character, I researched the strong family and religious life my characters were fortunate enough to possess. As a result, I often wonder how those less fortunate and lacking the necessary character foundation are going to make it in today’s society. Hence the creation of The Character Building Project. Continue reading

Sign Up for Updates
For a limited time, grab a FREE copy of the book, Courage in America: Warriors with Character
Mottoes & Quotes
For the Visually Impaired
Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.