Russell Burnham Shaw, an association executive, author and journalist, was born in 1935 in Washington, D. C. A graduate of Georgetown University (A.B. 1956, M.A. 1960), Shaw has been associated with a variety of Catholic newspapers and organizations: as a staff writer for the Catholic Standard (1956 - 57); a reporter for the Catholic News Service (1957 - 1966); director of publishing and public information for the National Catholic Educational Association (1966 - 1969); director of the National Catholic Office for Information (1969 -1973); associate secretary for communication for the U. S. Catholic Conference (1973 - 1974); and secretary for public affairs for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and for the U. S. Catholic Conference (1975). He wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Arts of Leisure" (1965 - 1967), and has been a columnist for the Washington Report (1967 - ), the Washington Dispatch (1967 - 1984) and About Schools (1967 - 1969).
Shaw began his career as an author in 1961 with the publication of his only novel, The Dark Disciple. The remainder of his books have concerned education, philosophy, politics and Catholicism. Titles by Shaw include Abortion and Public Policy (1966), Abortion on Trial (1968), Church and State (1979), Choosing Well (1982), Why We Need Confession (1986), Renewal (1986), Signs of the Times (1986) and Does Suffering Make Sense? (1987). In 1974 Shaw co-authored Beyond the New Morality with Germain Grisez, which came out in second and third editions (1980, 1988). Shaw also co-authored S.O.S. for Catholic Schools in 1970 with C. A. Koob. Russel Shaw was associate editor of New Patterns in Catholic Education (1968), and co-editor of and Catholic Education Today Tommorrow (1968) and co-editor and contributor to Trends and Issues in Catholic Education (1968). Russell Shaw now lives in Washington D. C.