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Bennett, James Van Benschoten (28 August 1894–19 November 1978), director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, was born in Silver Creek, New York, the son of Edmund C. Bennett, an Episcopalian clergyman, and Mary Frances Berry, a former teacher. Bennett attended Brown University, where he received an A.B. in 1918, and served in the Army Air Corps during the closing months of World War I. In 1919 he married Marie Ettl; they had three children....

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Bethany K. Dumas and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Bigelow, Melvin Madison (02 August 1846–04 May 1921), law professor and author, was born near Eaton Rapids, Michigan, the son of William Enos Bigelow, a Methodist clergyman, and Daphne Florence Madison or Mattison, as it was sometimes spelled. The family was descended from John Bigelow, who came from England and settled at Watertown, Massachusetts, before 1642. Bigelow attended public schools wherever his father was stationed in the territory of the Detroit Conference, most of which was sparsely populated frontier country. He went on to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning an A.B. in 1866, an LL.B. in 1868, and an A.M. in 1871. In 1879 he received additional degrees, an A.M. and a Ph.D., from Harvard University. He studied law in Pontiac, Michigan, for a short time, then joined an uncle, Joseph Enos Bigelow, who practiced law in Memphis, Tennessee. He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1868. A boyhood friend, Marshall Davis Ewell, later a well-known law teacher and writer himself, followed him to Memphis, and the two helped prepare the manuscript of H. Clay King’s ...

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Brockway, Zebulon Reed (28 April 1827–21 October 1920), penologist, was born in Lyme, Connecticut, the son of Zebulon Brockway, a merchant and shipyard owner, and Caroline Brockway. After graduating from a local academy Brockway worked as a store clerk, first in Austinburg, Ohio, and then in Guilford, Connecticut. In 1848 he became a clerk at the Connecticut state prison and three years later was chosen as deputy superintendent of the penitentiary in Albany, New York. Appointed superintendent of the Albany almshouse in 1853, he built America’s first county hospital designed specifically for the insane. That same year he married Jane Woodhouse; they had two daughters. In 1854 he became the first superintendent of the new Monroe County prison in Rochester, New York. There he began his innovations in penology, treating prisoners with a leniency unusual for the time and stressing education rather than punishment. During this period Brockway was deeply stirred by the local revival movement and began to institute evangelistic programs, including a prison Sunday school. At the same time he won favorable public notice by devising a system of contract labor that made the prison self-supporting....

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Bronner, Augusta Fox (22 July 1881–11 December 1966), psychologist and expert in juvenile delinquency, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Gustave Bronner, a wholesale milliner, and Hanna Fox. Both of his parents were of German ancestry. Bronner’s maternal grandfather had been the founder of Louisville’s Reform Jewish Temple, and the Bronner family was active in the town’s Jewish community. Augusta, the middle child of three, was encouraged by her open-minded family to pursue a career instead of confining herself to housework....

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Curtis, George Ticknor (28 November 1812–28 March 1894), lawyer and historian, was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Curtis, a master in the merchant marine, and Lois Robbins. After his father died abroad, his mother raised him and his brother Benjamin Robbins Curtis...

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Howe, Mark De Wolfe (22 May 1906–28 February 1967), legal historian and civil rights activist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, a noted biographer, and Fanny Huntington Quincy. Howe lived in the Boston-Cambridge area all of his life. He attended prestigious Phillips Andover Academy and received his B.A. from Harvard in 1928, then his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1933. In 1935 he married Mary Manning, with whom he had three children....

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Kirchwey, George Washington (03 July 1855–03 March 1942), lawyer, criminologist, and professor, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Michael Kirchwey, a livestock and wholesale meat dealer, and Maria Anna Lutz. His father had actively participated in the German revolution of 1848. Educated in various private and public schools in both Chicago and Albany, Kirchwey graduated in 1875 as class valedictorian and enrolled at Yale University. Four years later he received his B.A. with honors, and after studying at Yale Law School and later at Albany Law School, he was admitted to the state bar in New York in 1882. In 1883 he married Dora Child Wendell; they had four children. ...

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Ramsey, Paul (10 December 1913–20 February 1988), theologian and ethicist, was born Robert Paul Ramsey in Mendenhall, Mississippi, the son of John William Ramsey, a Methodist minister, and Mamie McCay. After receiving his B.S. from Millsaps College (1935), he enrolled at Yale Divinity School, earning a B.D. (1940) and Ph.D. (1943). In 1937 he married Effie Register; they had three daughters. Ramsey began his teaching career in 1942 at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois; he left Garrett for Princeton University’s new Department of Religion in 1944 and remained there until his retirement in 1982....

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Smith, Bruce (23 May 1892–18 September 1955), criminologist and police department consultant, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Clarence B. Smith, a banker and real estate promoter, and Jessie Annin. After graduating from high school in Brooklyn, he studied at Wesleyan University but was such a vocal critic of compulsory chapel attendance that he was expelled in 1913 during his senior year. He entered Columbia University and graduated in 1914 with a B.A. He married Mary Belle Rowell in 1915; they had two children. Smith earned his M.A. and LL.B. at Columbia in 1916 but never took the bar examination. While a student, he worked at the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, located at Columbia and under the direction of ...

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Van Waters, Miriam (04 October 1887–17 January 1974), social reformer and penologist, was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the second of five children of George Browne Van Waters, an Episcopal minister, and Maude Vosburg. In 1888 the family moved to Oregon where Reverend Van Waters took up missionary work. Miriam was often left to care for her sisters during her mother’s frequent trips to Pennsylvania....