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Doar, John Michael (3 Dec. 1921–11 Nov. 2014), lawyer and federal official, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to William and Mae Doar. His father was a lawyer and his mother a teacher. He grew up in New Richmond, Wisconsin and attended St. Paul Academy, graduating in ...

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Fosdick, Raymond Blaine (09 June 1883–18 July 1972), lawyer, author, and foundation president, was born in Buffalo, New York to Frank Fosdick, a teacher and school principal, and Amie Weaver. Fosdick’s childhood was a comfortable and content one, if somewhat constrained by his parents’ financial situation, which he described as “always precarious and frequently disastrous.” His parents sought to foster in their children a love of learning, books, and music, as well as a strong devotion to the Baptist faith. They also encouraged intellectual discussion and debate, which sometimes conflicted with Fosdick’s rigid religious upbringing. Out of the family’s Sunday dinner discussions, he recalled developing a growing “conviction . . . that moral values and ideals do not require the abdication of intelligence and critical judgment.” This early realization would profoundly shape Fosdick’s career in public and philanthropic service....

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Thomas Smith Grimké. Portrait of Thomas Smith Grimké (1786-1834). Oil on canvas. Portrait by Abraham G.D. Tuthill. Courtesy of Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio.

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Grimké, Thomas Smith (26 September 1786–12 October 1834), lawyer, educational and peace reformer, politician, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the second son of John Faucheraud Grimké and Mary Smith Grimké. John Grimké, a native Charlestonian of French Huguenot stock, was educated at the University of Cambridge, an officer in the American Revolution, and head justice of the state’s Court of Appeals. Mary Grimké, a descendant of an English landgrave, the state’s founding aristocracy, and the famous Irish rebel leader Rory O’Moore, was a co-founder of Charleston’s female benevolent society. Other children included ...

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Mitchell, Juanita Jackson (2 Jan. 1913–7 July 1992), civil rights activist and lawyer, was born to Lillie Carroll Jackson, a schoolteacher, and Kieffer Albert Jackson, a traveling salesman, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As the daughter of civil rights activists, Jackson was greatly influenced by her parents’ avocation of social justice and racial equality. By the 1920s the family relocated to Baltimore, Maryland. Jackson received her early education in the Baltimore public schools. After graduating from Fredrick Douglass High School in ...

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Murphey, Archibald Debow (01 January 1777?–01 February 1832), lawyer and North Carolina state senator, was born in Caswell County in north-central North Carolina, one of the seven children of Archibald Murphey, an army officer and county clerk, and Jane Debow. Murphey attended David Caldwell’s academy in Guilford County, then entered the University of North Carolina, from which he graduated with highest distinction in 1799. He taught at the university for two years while studying law, and in 1801 he established a law practice in Hillsborough, the county seat of Orange County. In that same year he married Jane Armistead Scott. They had five children, the last born in 1812....

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Pilpel, Harriet Fleischl (02 December 1911–23 April 1991), civil liberties lawyer and activist, was born Harriet F. Fleischl to former schoolteacher Ethel Loewy and Julius Fleischl, a self-educated businessman who worked for his family’s dairy and poultry business. Harriet grew up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in the Bronx where she attended Evander Childs High School, served as captain of the debate team, and became interested in public affairs. The eldest of three children—all daughters—Harriet enjoyed a special relationship with her father, who expected her intellectual and academic achievements to equal those of her most accomplished male peers....

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Sloan, Thomas Louis (14 May 1863–10 September 1940), Omaha tribal member, attorney, and Indian activist, was born to a mixed-race father, William E. Sloan, and a non-Indian mother, name unknown, in St. Louis, Missouri. At a young age he was orphaned and went to live with his paternal grandmother, Margaret Sloan, on the Omaha Indian Reservation in Nebraska. Margaret was the daughter of Michael Barada, a non-Indian man, and Taeglaha Haciendo, a woman of the Omaha tribe, making Thomas one-eighth Omaha. Reservation officials considered him a troublemaker and jailed him after he accused agents of cheating the tribe financially. He was later sent to the Hampton Institute in Virginia in 1886, where Captain Richard Henry Pratt had started the Indian boarding school system in 1878. Sloan excelled at Hampton and graduated as valedictorian in 1889. He decided not to attend Yale law school after graduation and returned to the Omaha Reservation....

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Sorensen, Theodore Chaikin (8 May 1928–31 Oct. 2010), lawyer, presidential advisor, and speechwriter, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Christian A. Sorensen, a lawyer who also served as attorney general for the state of Nebraska from 1929 to 1933, and Annis Chaikin, a social worker. Christian Sorensen was influenced by the progressive wing of the Republican Party and named his son after President ...

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Storey, Moorfield (19 Mar. 1845–24 Oct. 1929), civil rights attorney and anti-imperialist activist, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to attorney Charles Storey and Elizabeth Eaton Storey, Boston Brahmin parents of declining wealth and Conscience Whig political persuasions. Storey attended Harvard College, graduating in ...