Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kathleen Fitzgerald  

Pen Name: Kathleen Whalen FitzGerald


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio

-- Website --
-- Kathleen Fitzgerald on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Fitzgerald resides in Lake Forest, IL.

Biographical and Professional Information

Fitzgerald was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The oldest of four children in an Irish Catholic Family, FitzGerald attended local public and parochial schools. Shortly after completing high school, she joined the convent and taught elementary school in the Chicago and Fort Wayne area. AFter thirteen years, she decided to leave religious life in 1969. Fitzgerald is now a professional counselor and specializes in addictions and codependency issues. She has treated both men and women who have been sexually abused by clergy. In 1988 she founded the Institute for Recovery. Located in Lake Forest, Illinois, the Institute provides professional therapy for abuse, dysfunction, addictions, family trauma, sexual trauma and co-dependency. A popular public speaker at workshops and seminars, Fitzgerald has published several books, including ''Brass: Jane Byrne and the Pursuit of Power'', ''The Good Sisters'' and ''Alcoholism: The Genertic Inheritence''. Her articles and essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including ''Newsweek'', ''Men's Health'', ''The Chicago Tribune'', and ''Professional Counselor''. Fitzgerald holds an M.A. in Classics form DePaul University and a Ph.D. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Brass, Jane Byrne and the pursuit of power
ISBN: 0809270064

Contemporary Books. 1981

DESPITE tasteful invitations, thirty pounds of jumbo shrimp, and a popular jazz band, the pre-primary fund raiser for mayoral candidate Jane Byrne was a disaster. More than 500 guests were expected at the suburban Lake Forest mansion. Fewer than 20 came. Among the guests was Kathleen Whalen FitzGerald who would later write Brass, an interpretive biography and careful examination of the forces that shaped Jane Burke Byrne. What were those forces? There was the very private Burke family, the community expectations of Irish-American Catholic womanhood, the abrupt death of Jane's husband, and power - elusive, attractive, life-enhancing power. Power is the thread that weaves in and out of this book. Power and powerlessness, the ultimate contrast, more stark than black and white, more important than rich or poor. Jane Byrne knew the modest power of affluence, the significant power of the Church, and the love of power of the Irish. FitzGerald was writing a doctoral dissertation on power and the Catholic Church when she met Byrne. She saw things in Byrne which other writers might overlook - especially those characteristics of being Irish-American and Catholic and a woman - all refracted in the very prism of power. FitzGerald writes gracefully and thoughtfully in this very readable book.

The good sisters
ISBN: 0809258625

Contemporary Books. 1981


Alcoholism: The Genetic Inheritance
ISBN: 1882195019

Whales Tales Pr. 2002

You inherited your mother's eyes...Your father's smile...And your grandfather's drinking problem.

"For over thirty years," writes author and recovering alcoholic Kathleen FitzGerald, "the American Medical Association has recognized alcoholism as a disease with identifiable and progressive symptoms that, if untreated, lead to mental damage, physical incapacity and early death. Yet still do not treat alcoholism as a disease, but as a sin, a social stigma, a moral aberration.

This book takes you on a journey through not only understanding alcoholism and drug addiction, but also addresses the emotional, physical and biological effects of this disease. If you are looking for a way to understand, overcome and recover alcoholism, you must read this book.

Jellinek's Disease: The New Face of Alcoholism
ISBN: 1882195051

Whales Tale Press. 2003

In this country, there are 18 million people with Jellinek’s Disease. One out of four kids in our classrooms has a parent with Jellinek’s Disease. Tens of thousands of us are killed or maimed each year beneath the wheels of a drunk driver. Alcoholism costs us $276 billion annually.

Nearly 50 years ago, the A.M.A. stated indisputably that alcoholism was a bone fide illness, yet we still deal with it as a sin, social indiscretion, or weakness of will. No wonder the recovery rates are only 3-5%, yet is the most treatable, least costly and relapse-preventable of all major illnesses.

It is imperative that this chronic, progressive and fatal illness be addressed as a real illness, Jellinek’s Disease, after Dr. E.M. Jellinek who wrote The Disease Concept of Alcoholism in 1960. By a simply renaming, we extract the horrendous guilt and futile shame that holds 18 million Americans and their families’ hostage.

In renaming alcoholism as Jellinek’s Disease, we are reframing this pathology as other medical phenomena have been reframed by the use of more socially acceptable, compassionate terms, such as Down’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and ADD.

If there were any other disorder that was so wide-spread, costs so much and had such minimal recovery rates, the government, medical, legal, educational, business and religious organizations would be standing on their collective heads, screaming to find out what we were missing and what was wrong. It’s simple. Change the name. Reframe the illness. Let’s get well!



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)

Contact Information

Agent, Jane Rotrosen 226 East 32nd Street New York, New York 10016