Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann was born in Hollywood, California, on February 5, 1933. His parents were Nicaraguan, and shortly after he was born they returned with him to their native land. Miguel received his primary education in the La Salle institutes of Diriamba and Managua. At the age of fourteen, he went to the United States, to attend Saint Mary’s College, in Moraga, California, and Manhattan College in New York City. He continued his studies in Latin and Greek in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and obtained his licentiate in philosophy in Glenn Ellyn, Illinois.
In 1956 he entered the novitiate of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America (Maryknoll), near Boston, Massachusetts. He received degrees in theology (Maryknoll, New York) and education (New York State University), after studies lasting from 1957 to 1961. Upon completion of work in these two institutions he transferred to the Pulitzer Institute of Columbia University, New York City, for work in comparative journalism and political economics.
Miguel was ordained a priest in 1962, and in 1962 and 1963 served as assistant director of the Department of Social Communications of Maryknoll. In 1963 he went to Chile, where he worked in Santiago with the inner-city poor until 1969. There he founded the National Institute of Population Action and Social Research, with a view to improving the living conditions of the poor. This was an experience that marked his life permanently with the evangelical seal of dedication to the poorest of the poor. During these same years he made trips to Brazil and Mexico, called there by church officials to evaluate pastoral work with the marginalized in the “misery zones” of both nations.
In 1970 he was appointed director of social communications of the Maryknoll Society, in New York. In this position, which he held until 1979, he had occasions to journey throughout Latin America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, visiting Maryknoll missions. In the same years he founded Orbis Books and published the most influential writings about Theology of Liberation movement which was beginning to spread from Latin America to the whole catholic world.
Beginning in 1975, when he first came in contact with the Sandinista National Liberation Front, he collaborated more and more closely with the anti-Somozist struggle, promoting solidarity commitments in the United States. In October 1977, in San Jose, Costa Rica, he joined the Group of Twelve, made up of fellow scholars and professionals committed to the struggle against Somoza through the FSLN. With the Triumph of the revolution, in July 1979, Father Miguel d’Escoto was named foreign minister.
The Nicaraguan revolution was the first Catholic-Marxist experiment in history and it created a great deal of concern for the church of Rome particularly since figures like that of d’Escoto, priest and politician, were active parts of the government.
In 1985 d’Escoto took the case of Nicaragua against the United States for “acts of aggression” during the war with the U.S. backed CONTRA army to the International Court of Justice of the Hague were he achieved and historic victory. At the same time Pope John Paul II suspended him from the exercise of his clerical functions.
In June 2008 Miguel d’Escoto was elected President of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly by acclamation. He ruled over the 192 members body until September the 14th 2009.
In August 2014 Pope Francis lifted the suspension "a divinis" and Father Miguel celebrated his first mass in 30 years in Managua.