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Grace Abbott Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111723).

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Julie Longo and Sandra F. VanBurkleo

Abbott, Grace (17 November 1878–19 June 1939), social worker and administrator, was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, the daughter of Othman Ali Abbott, a lawyer and politician, and Elizabeth Griffin, a high school principal. The Abbott household provided an intellectually stimulating environment, emphasizing reading, discussion, and formal education for all four children. Othman Abbott encouraged both Grace and her older sister ...

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Bremer, Edith Terry (09 October 1885–12 September 1964), social worker and reformer, was born in Hamilton, New York, the daughter of Benjamin Stiles Terry, a history professor at Colgate University and a Baptist minister, and Mary Baldwin, the daughter of a Baptist minister. The family moved west in 1892 when Benjamin Terry became a professor at the University of Chicago. Edith spent most of her youth in Chicago and received her A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1907. The following year, she furthered her education by attending the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy....

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Frances Kellor Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99077).

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Kellor, Frances Alice (20 October 1873–04 January 1952), social reformer and arbitration specialist, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Daniel Kellor and Mary Sprau. The family relocated to Coldwater, Michigan, in 1875. Engaging in the same housekeeping work as her mother, Frances Kellor paid for high school. However, after two years, she left school to become a reporter for the ...

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Kohler, Max James (22 May 1871–24 July 1934), jurist, historian, and Jewish communal worker, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Kaufmann Kohler and Johanna Einhorn. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Germany, and both his father and grandfather, David Einhorn, were leading rabbis of the Reform Movement in American Judaism. Upon the death of Kohler’s grandfather in 1879, his father assumed Einhorn’s pulpit at New York’s Congregation Beth El, and the family moved to that city. There he grew up in an atmosphere infused with a devotion to both religious values and scholarly pursuits. After completing high school, Kohler attended the College of the City of New York, where he won several important literary prizes. Following his graduation in 1890, he entered Columbia University, from which he received both M.A. (1891) and LL.B. (1893) degrees. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1893 and became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, resigning after four years to start a private law practice. In 1906 he married Winifred Lichtenauer, who died in 1922. No children resulted from the marriage....

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Roberts, Peter (26 August 1859–02 December 1932), minister, sociologist, and educator, was born in Dowlais, South Wales, Great Britain, the son of John Roberts and Elizabeth Davis Roberts. Information about his early life is extremely limited. According to one source, Roberts worked as a coal miner and as a blacksmith's apprentice in his youth. He went to school at Glangadog, South Wales, and received his B.A. at Brecon Memorial College, Wales, in 1883. In the same year, Roberts immigrated to the United States, where he attended Yale University. Graduating with a bachelor of divinity degree in 1886, he delivered the commencement address....

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Speranza, Gino Carlo (23 April 1872–12 July 1927), immigration lawyer and author, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Carlo Leonardo Speranza, a professor of Italian literature at Yale and Columbia Universities, and Adele Capetti. His parents were both natives of Verona, Italy, and the family returned there frequently. Speranza received part of his early education in Verona as well as in the public schools of New York City. He then studied at City College of New York, receiving a B.S. (1892) and an M.S. degree (1895). Speranza took legal training at New York University Law School, earning an LL.B. in 1894 and joining the New York and federal bars in 1895. In 1909 he married Florence Colgate, a Barnard College graduate (1895) and settlement house activist. They did not have children....

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Stoddard, Lothrop (29 June 1883–01 May 1950), political philosopher and nativist advocate, was born Theodore Lothrop Stoddard in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of John Lawson Stoddard, a lecturer and writer, and Mary Hammond Brown. Stoddard grew up in Massachusetts. His parents separated in 1888; his mother raised him, but Stoddard’s father sustained a close relationship, including extensive travel both domestic and abroad. Stoddard graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1905; he then studied law at Boston University until his admission to the Massachusetts bar in 1908. That year he traveled extensively in Europe, a trip that greatly impressed him with the burgeoning complexity and difficulties of European politics at the turn of the century. He became convinced of both the imminence of a massive European war and the naiveté of American political leadership. On his return to the United States he enrolled in Harvard, studying political science and earning the Master of Arts in 1910 and the Doctor of Philosophy in 1914....