A psychologist, evangelical Christian, and author of religious self-help books, he also founded Focus on the Family, a conservative nonprofit organization. His published works include Straight Talk to Men (2000) and When God Doesn't Make Sense (2001).
He earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Southern California and combined his academic expertise with his religious faith to publish Dare to Discipline (1977), a book promoting the use of corporal punishment.
Though never an ordained minister, he became a leading evangelical Christian.
He was born to a religious family in Shreveport, Louisiana. He married Shirley Dobson in 1960.
Like televangelists Billy Graham and Pat Robertson, Dobson was vocal about his faith and his conservative politics.