Terrence McNally (born 3 November 1939) is an American playwright who has received four Tony Awards, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild since 1970 and has served as vice-president since 1981. McNally is married to Thomas Kirdahy.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, McNally moved to New York City in 1956 to attend Columbia University, where he majored in English, graduating in 1960, the same year in which he gained membership into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He worked briefly for the alumni magazine Columbia College Today.
After graduation, McNally moved to Mexico to focus on his writing, completing a one-act play which he submitted to the Actors Studio in New York for production. While the play was turned down by the acting school, the Studio was impressed with the script, and McNally was invited to serve as the Studio's stage manager so that he could gain practical knowledge of theater. In his early years in New York, he was a protégé and lover of the noted playwright Edward Albee.