Bill Maher Shares How He and His Sister Kathy Are Contributing to Population Control

By Sagar ChandPublished on: May 17, 2024 Updated on: May 24, 2024
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Kathy Maher grew up in a religious household where her father, William Aloysius Maher Jr., worked as a radio announcer and news editor for NBC. From an early age, Kathy and her brother Bill Maher were exposed to discussions about current events and political views.

Unlike many families in the early sixties, the Mahers used their dinner table conversations to delve into important issues like civil rights and politics. Bill once shared with Irish America that their upbringing was unusual for Americans. Politics was a common topic at home, more like a European family. His parents were open about their political views and encouraged their children to think critically about significant matters around the world. Despite growing up in an all-white town, Bill’s father impressed upon him the importance of civil rights for Black people, a perspective that was rare among his peers.

Bill said, “I grew up in an all-white town and yet my father did impress upon me at a young age that this country had a lot of work to do for the civil rights of black people. I think they were called “negroes” then. So it was in my head even though I really [laughs] had never even met a “negro.”

This early exposure to political discourse significantly influenced Bill’s career. Known for his political satire, his critical views on religion were prominently featured in the successful documentary Religulous (2008).

While Bill’s achievements are well-documented, information about his sister Kathy, a teacher, is less prevalent. In a rare interview with the Jewish Telegraph, Bill quipped, “My sister doesn’t have children either, so I guess we are doing our best for population control.”

It seems both Maher siblings share the similarity of not having children. However, unlike Bill, it’s uncertain whether Kathy has ever been married.

She Now Lives in New Jersey

Kathy, also known as Kathleen Maher, was born in June 1952 and currently lives in her hometown of River Vale, New Jersey.

Kathy as a child.
Kathy Maher’s child photo.

Unlike her brother Bill, Kathy has kept most of her life out of the media spotlight. The only time she made a public appearance was in a Facebook post by her brother in 2010.

She and Her Brother Used To Go to the Church Every Sunday

Maher, 72, is the daughter of an Irish Catholic father, William Maher, and a Jewish mother, Julie Berman.

“I’m half Irish. My mother certainly was not Irish. But my father was very Irish,” Kathy’s brother Bill shared with IrishBoard. “I went to Ireland to find my roots, in 1999. There were a lot of Mahers. There are variations on the spelling. I think originally it had even more weird letters in it that aren’t pronounced. I’ve seen it M-E-A-G-H-E-R, as many as seven letters.”

He also mentioned being, “half Irish and half Jewish, they both contributed to a sense of humor. But there’s no doubt that my father, the Irishman, was a gregarious, funny, living room comedian.”

Bill Maher during his New Year's Eve show at Neal S Blaisdell Concert Hall on December 31, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Bill on December 31, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bill and his sister were raised Catholic until they were teenagers. They went to church every Sunday as kids. While they didn’t attend Catholic school, they were dropped off at catechism class.

“It wasn’t like school, because I didn’t know any of the kids,” the Real Time star said Irish America. “The classrooms were very crowded. The nuns were mean. I was young and scared. It just frightened me and I hated it. And then we went to church, which I didn’t hate as much. I was with my father and my sister so I felt safe. It wasn’t scary. It was just boring, and I thought, “What are they rambling on about?” Half of it was in Latin.”

They left the church in the late ’60s or early ’70s due to its anti-abortion stance and the evolving social attitudes of the time.

It was also around this time that Bill and Kathy realized their mother wasn’t joining them at church because she was Jewish. The comedian said, “It didn’t bother me that she was Jewish; it bothered me that we didn’t we talk about it.”

Both Of Her Parents Are No Longer Alive

Kathy’s father, William, was born on June 8, 1911, in Weehawken, Hudson County, New Jersey. He passed away from cancer on August 8, 1992, at the age of 71 in Westwood, Bergen County, New Jersey.

Her mother, Julie Berman, was born on March 3, 1919. She lived a long life before passing away on October 2, 2007, in Park Ridge, Bergen County, New Jersey, at the age of 88.

About Author: Sagar Chand

Sagar Chand is a seasoned content writer since 2016, who has crafted a diverse array of articles spanning entertainment, sports, and beyond. With a rich background in creating engaging content, Sagar excels in bringing unique perspectives to a wide audience. His expertise not only enriches his writings but also keeps his readers coming back for more insightful and dynamic narratives.