Jerome Donald Quinn was born in Litchfield, Minnesota on February 24, 1927. He studied at Nazareth Hall (1942 – 1946) and received his BA (1947) and MA (1951) from the Saint Paul Seminary. He did graduate work at the University of Minnesota and Notre Dame University primarily in the field of classical studies. When his research interests shifted to biblical and theological studies, he studied for and received his License in Sacred Theology (STL) from the Gregorian University – Rome (1959) and License in Sacred Scripture (SSL) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute (1961). He also held a Fulbright Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (1957).
Quinn was ordained into the priesthood for the St. Paul / Minneapolis diocese on June 2, 1951. Here served as the pastor of the Church of the Incarnation (Minneapolis) from 1951 – 1953 before taking up a position teaching English and Latin at Nazareth Hall from 1953 – 1958. He served as a professor Old Testament, New Testament and Hebrew at the Saint Paul Seminary from 1961 – 1988. He was made a monsignor on April 28, 1973.
Quinn was widely known for his work on several scholarly projects. His work with the Catholic Biblical Association included assistance in the preparation of the New American Bible (1970), serving on the editorial board of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and as well as the association’s executive board. Appointed by the U.S. bishops, Quinn served on the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue, a semiformal inter-church group, for 17 years. Pope Paul VI appointed Quinn to the Pontifical Biblical Commission 1978, on which he served until 1984 when ill health forced him to resign. His later years were spent writing a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles for the Anchor Bible.
Quinn died September 13, 1988 in Saint Paul, MN.