Robert Lowry was born in Philadelphia, March 12, 1826, and died in Plainfield, NJ on November 25, 1899.


He graduated from the University of Lewisburg, PA in 1854. He went on to become a pastor for several churches, as well as a Professor at the University of Lewisburg. Later in life he became an editor and then the head of a publishing company of church Sunday School books and hymnals. He was very successful with this.

Lowry composed the words and music to at least 250 hymns. He also worked with other hymn writers as well, composing the music for other’s lyrics. One of his most well known hymns, “I Need Thee” was such a collaboration. Annie Hawks wrote the words, and Robert Lowry composed the music.