Abigail Quigley McCarthy (April 16, 1915, Wabasha, Minnesota – February 1, 2001, Washington, D.C.) was an American academic and writer, best known as the wife of politician and presidential contender Eugene McCarthy. She predeceased her estranged husband by almost five years.
They met as teachers in Mandan, North Dakota, and were wed on June 5, 1945, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their first home was in Watkins, Minnesota, at an agriculture commune formed by Catholic couples. In later years, following their separation (see Eugene McCarthy), they lived separately; however, they never divorced. She had an apartment in Washington, D.C. on Connecticut Avenue, which is where she died in 2001, aged 85.
Eugene and Abigail McCarthy had four children: Michael Benet McCarthy, Ellen McCarthy, Margaret Alice McCarthy, and the late Mary Abigail McCarthy (died July 28, 1990).
Abigail Quigley graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1936. She received her M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1942 and did postgraduate work at the University of Chicago and the Middlebury School of English.
Abigail Quigley McCarthy was a Catholic author, educator, and activist. She wrote several successful books and was a regular columnist for Commonweal, a liberal Catholic magazine, from 1974 to 1999. She wrote reviews for The New York Times and The Washington Post. She founded and was first president of Church Women United, a lay Catholic group.
The Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women was established at her alma mater, St. Catherine University, in her honor.