Cardinal Edward Egan was bron in Oak Park (archdiocese of Chicago USA) on 2 April 1932. He was ordained a priest on 15 December 1957 in Rome following studies at the Seminary of Our Lady of the Lake in Mundelein and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was a priest in Holy Name Cathedral Parish in Chicago and secretary to the Archbishop, Cardinal Albert Gregory Meyer. He continued his studies in Rome from 1960-1963 obtaining a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorain University. While in Rome, he was Vice-Rector of the Pontifical North American College. On returning to Chicago, he was secretary to Cardinal John Cody and held diocesan positions related to Ecumenism and Social Relations. He was appointed an Auditor of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on 20 November 1972 and taught at the "Studio Rotale"and at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York on 1 April 1985 (with the titular diocese of Alleghany) and was consecrated in Rome on 22 May 1985 by Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. He was made Bishop of Bridgeport on 5 November 1988 and then Archbishop of New York on 11 May 2000.