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Bennett, Henry Garland (14 December 1886–22 December 1951), university and government administrator, was born near New Hope in Nevada County, Arkansas, the son of Thomas Jefferson Bennett, a blind evangelist, and Mary Elizabeth Bright. At the age of eight, Henry was enrolled in the primary department (laboratory school) at Ouachita College in Arkadelphia, where he remained until 1907, when he received the bachelor of arts degree. Following graduation, he earned a teaching certificate, taught in a business college in Texarkana, sold textbooks, and finally entered the public educational system in Oklahoma, subsequently holding teaching or administrative positions in Boswell, Choctaw County, and Hugo. Bennett secured a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1924, and Columbia University granted him the Ph.D. in 1926 for a dissertation entitled “The Coordination of the State Institutions of Higher Education in Oklahoma.” In Hugo, Bennett met Vera Pearl Connell, the daughter of a lawyer and federal judge who resided in Durant. The couple were married in January 1913; they had five children....

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Bissell, Richard Mervin, Jr. (18 September 1909–07 February 1994), economics professor and government administrator, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Richard Bissell, a wealthy insurance executive, and Marie Truesdel. As a young man, Bissell studied at elite educational institutions, including Groton School; Yale University, where he received a B.A. in 1932; and the London School of Economics, where he began his postgraduate work. In 1933 he returned to Yale as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor before earning his Ph.D. in economics in 1939. In 1940 he married Ann Cornelia Bushnell; they had five children. Described by one friend as “desperately shy,” Bissell seemed destined in 1941 to remain a university educator and scholar. However, the outbreak of World War II dramatically changed his life, as he left Yale to become a member of ...

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Dennett, Tyler Wilbur (13 June 1883–29 December 1949), historian, government official, and college president, was born in Spencer, Wisconsin, the son of William Eugene Dennett, a Baptist preacher, and Roxena Tyler. He attended a small school in Pascaog, Rhode Island, where his parents moved shortly after he was born, and then the Friends School in Providence. His higher education included one year at Bates College in Maine and three years at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was a scholarship student, edited the school paper, and played football....

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Du Bois, William Ewing (15 December 1810–14 July 1881), U.S. Mint official and numismatist, was born at Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the son of the Reverend Uriah Du Bois, a Presbyterian clergyman and school principal, and Martha Patterson, the daughter of Robert Patterson, the director of the U.S. Mint from 1806 to 1824. Du Bois studied at the Union Academy of Doylestown, where his father was principal, and later at John Gummere’s school in Burlington, New Jersey. Becoming a lawyer in his early twenties, Du Bois published in April 1832 a lengthy transcript of a recent celebrated trial. Lucretia Chapman, who had allegedly murdered her husband, William Chapman, by putting arsenic in his chicken soup, had twelve days later married her lodger Lino Amalia Espos y Mina. Chapman had claimed that her husband had died of cholera; and the jury had found her not guilty....

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Eisenhower, Milton Stover (15 September 1899–02 May 1985), government official and university president, was born in Abilene, Kansas, the son of David Eisenhower, a mechanic at a local creamery, and Ida Stover. Of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, David raised his six sons to be fiercely independent while Ida nurtured them in the values of the River Brethren Church. “Opportunity is all about you,” was the Eisenhower creed. “Reach out and take it.”...

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Elliott, Harriet Wiseman (10 July 1884–06 August 1947), educator, political organizer, and government official, was born in Carbondale, Illinois, the daughter of Allan Curtis Elliott, a merchant who extended easy credit to poor coal miners, and Elizabeth Ann White, a staunch supporter of ...

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Flint, Weston (04 July 1835–06 April 1906), librarian, attorney, and government official, was born in Pike, Wyoming County, New York, the son of Nicholas Flint and Phebe Burt Willoughby, farmers. He grew up on the family farm in Cattaraugus County, New York, and was educated at the Chamberlain Institute, the Alfred Academy (later Alfred University) in Alfred, New York, and Union College in Schenectady, New York, from which he graduated in 1860....

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Ford, Guy Stanton (09 May 1873–29 December 1962), historian, editor, and academic administrator, was born in Liberty Corners, Salem Township, Wisconsin, the son of Thomas D. Ford, a medical doctor, and Helen E. Shumway, a teacher. During Guy’s early childhood, his father’s drinking and business failures forced his mother, with her two sons, to move in with a series of relatives, eventually leading them to Sutherland, Iowa, in 1883. Shortly thereafter his father moved to Plainfield, Iowa, a town of about 300 people. In 1884 the family reunited in Plainfield. Thomas Ford was an extremely impractical man and the family lived in relative poverty throughout Guy’s years in Plainfield....

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Goodrich, Carter (10 May 1897–07 April 1971), college professor and government official, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, the son of Rev. Charles Lyman Goodrich, a minister, and Jeanette Margaret Carter. As a student at Amherst College, Goodrich edited the Amherst Monthly literary magazine and formed a close friendship with faculty member ...

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Henry W. Henshaw Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98679).

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Henshaw, Henry Wetherbee (03 March 1850–01 August 1930), ornithologist, ethnologist, and government official, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of William Henshaw and Sarah Holden Wetherbee. His interest in natural history was demonstrated from early childhood, and he began focusing has attention on birds. He completed his primary and secondary education in the local public schools, but poor health compelled him to defer plans to take the entrance examination at Harvard in 1869. While in high school, Henshaw met ...

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Oliver O. Howard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-3719).

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Howard, Oliver Otis (08 November 1830–26 October 1909), soldier, government official, and educator, was born in Leeds, Maine, the son of Rowland Bailey Howard and Eliza Otis, farmers. As a boy Howard worked in the company of a young black farmhand, an experience to which he later attributed his broadmindedness in racial matters. Howard graduated from Bowdoin College in 1850 and entered the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated from West Point in 1854, ranked fourth in his class. In 1855 Howard married Elizabeth Ann Waite; the couple had seven children. He first served at the federal arsenals in New York and Maine and then as an ordnance officer in Florida. In 1857 Howard returned to West Point to teach mathematics. The same year he experienced the religious conversion that would earn him such sobriquets as “the Christian Soldier.” His distaste for alcohol and profanity hardly endeared him to many of his fellows. ...

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Hunt, Henry Alexander, Jr. (10 October 1866–01 October 1938), educator and government official, was born in Sparta, Hancock County, Georgia, the son of Mariah and Henry Alexander Hunt, Sr., a tanner and farmer. Mariah, who exhibited some of the fundamentals of an education and had studied music, was a free woman of color; Henry Alexander was white. Available evidence suggests that the couple lived together before the Civil War but maintained separate households afterward. Henry was the fifth of eight racially mixed children. At age sixteen, having completed the formal education available to him in Hancock County, he followed his older sister and enrolled at Atlanta University. A popular campus leader, Hunt was captain of the baseball team, moot court judge, and president of the Phi Kappa Society. In addition to his college course, Hunt learned the builder’s trade and, during vacations, worked as a journeyman carpenter to earn money for his education. He graduated with a B.A. in 1890....

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James M. Landis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115254).

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Landis, James McCauley (25 September 1899–30 July 1964), federal administrator and Harvard Law School dean, was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of Henry Mohr Landis and Emma Marie Stiefler, missionary-teachers. He first came to the United States at age thirteen for schooling. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy (1916), Princeton University (1921), and Harvard Law School (1924), attaining at each the highest levels of academic achievement and receiving one of Harvard’s first doctorates of juridical science....

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Morgan, Arthur Ernest (20 June 1878–15 November 1975), college president and first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), college president and first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of John Morgan, a surveyor and schoolteacher, and Anna Wiley, also a schoolteacher. Shortly after Arthur’s birth, the family moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he grew up. If his father influenced Arthur to become an engineer, his mother influenced him to become hard working, disciplined, and self-righteous; to seek perfection in all his pursuits; and to hold others to his elevated personal standards. Morgan’s lifelong inability to tolerate behavioral and moral differences in associates and subordinates alike originated in childhood....

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Moron, Alonzo Graseano (12 April 1909–31 October 1971), educator and public servant, was born Alonzo Brown in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Danish Virgin Islands, the son of Caroline Louisa Brown, a seamstress, and Joseph Metzante Moron, about whom little is known. No father was listed on Alonzo Moron's birth certificate, and Joseph Moron played no significant role in his son's life. Alonzo Moron's mother, who worked out of her house, reared her two children as a single parent in a working-class neighborhood. Moron spent his first eight years as a Danish colonial subject in poverty and changed his surname from Brown to Moron in his early teens....

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Nash, Philleo (25 October 1909–12 October 1987), educator, federal administrator, and lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the son of Guy Nash, a cranberry grower, and Florence Philleo. He attended elementary and high schools in Wisconsin Rapids, followed by a brief period of study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In the fall of 1927 Nash enrolled in ...

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Pilling, James Constantine (16 November 1846–26 July 1895), government administrator and ethnologist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of James Pilling, a carpenter and tax collector, and Susan Collins. He was educated at Gonzaga College, a Jesuit high school in Washington, D.C. Early in his career Pilling taught himself stenography; becoming quite skilled, he worked for courts, congressional committees, and special government commissions. In 1875 ...