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Barnwell, Robert Woodward (10 August 1801–25 November 1882), educator, congressman, and U.S. and Confederate senator, was born at Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Robert Gibbes Barnwell, a prosperous planter and Federalist member of Congress, and Elizabeth Wigg Hayne. In 1817 he entered Harvard College, where he became friendly with ...

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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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Benton, Thomas Hart, Jr. (05 September 1816–10 April 1879), frontier educator and legislator, was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, the son of Samuel Benton, a congressman. His mother’s name is unknown. His uncle and namesake practiced law as an associate of Andrew Jackson...

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Benton, William (01 April 1900–18 March 1973), advertising executive, educator, and politician, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Charles Benton, a Congregationalist clergyman and professor of romance languages, and Elma Hixson, a schoolteacher. After brief military service in World War I, Benton attended Yale University and graduated in 1921. In 1928 he was married to Helen Hemingway. They had four children....

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Bliss, Tasker Howard (31 December 1853–09 November 1930), soldier, scholar, and diplomat, was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the son of George Ripley Bliss, a Baptist clergyman and professor at Lewisburg Academy (now Bucknell University), and Mary Ann Raymond. After attending Lewisburg Academy for two years, Tasker Bliss was admitted to West Point, where he excelled in foreign languages and finished eighth in his class in 1875. After graduating, he was assigned to the First Artillery in Savannah, Georgia. The next year he returned to West Point for a four-year tour as an instructor in modern languages. His grasp of other tongues included not only his beloved Greek, which he studied relentlessly, but also Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. The Custer massacre in 1876 prompted him to request active duty at a frontier post, but Major General ...

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Brewster, Kingman, Jr. (17 June 1919–08 November 1988), university president and diplomat, was born in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the son of Kingman Brewster, Sr., a lawyer, and Florence Besse. He was descended on his father’s side from Elder William Brewster of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Brewster’s parents divorced when he was six. His mother subsequently married Harvard University music professor Edward Ballentine, and the new family settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Brewster attended Belmont Hill School outside Boston (1930–1936), where he took an interest in journalism and debating and also took time to work on the reelection campaign of isolationist Republican senator ...

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Burdick, Usher Lloyd (21 February 1879–19 August 1960), author, educator, and legislator, was born in Owatonna, Minnesota, the son of Ozias Burdick and Lucy Farnum, farmers. In 1882 the family settled in Graham’s Island in the Dakota Territory, where Burdick attended local public schools and learned the Sioux Indian language and customs. Following his graduation from the State Normal School at Mayville, North Dakota, in 1900, he worked for two years as deputy superintendent of schools in Benson County, North Dakota. In 1901 he married Emma Rassmussen, and they had two sons and a daughter. Frustrated by local politics, Burdick changed career objectives and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he taught in a business college while attending the University of Minnesota’s law program, from which he graduated in 1904. He also played football at the university, which won the Big Ten championships in 1903 and 1904. After graduating he returned to Munich, North Dakota, where he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law....

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Burgess, John William (26 August 1844–13 January 1931), political theorist, historian, and university dean, was born in Cornersville, Giles County, Tennessee, the son of Thomas T. Burgess, a planter, and Mary Judith Edwards. He was a descendant of Thomas Burgess, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630. Raised in Tennessee in a slaveholding, pro-Union southern Whig family, Burgess became interested in politics early in life upon hearing the orations and debates of ...

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Butler, Nicholas Murray (02 April 1862–07 December 1947), educator, politician, and president of Columbia University, was the son of Henry Leny Butler, an importer and textile manufacturer, and Mary Jones Murray. From early childhood Butler was an enthusiastic, self-motivated student. He attended public high School in Paterson, New Jersey, graduating at age thirteen after passing a series of rigorous examinations. He continued his education privately from age fourteen to seventeen, learning Latin and Greek and doing further work in mathematics....

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Cardozo, Francis Louis (01 February 1837–22 July 1903), minister, educator, and politician, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of a free black woman (name unknown) and a Jewish father. It is uncertain whether Cardozo’s father was Jacob N. Cardozo, the prominent economist and editor of an “ardently anti-nullification newspaper in Charleston during the 1830s” (Williamson, p. 210), or his lesser-known brother, Isaac Cardozo, a weigher in the city’s customhouse. Born free at a time when slavery dominated southern life, Cardozo enjoyed a childhood of relative privilege among Charleston’s antebellum free black community. Between the ages of five and twelve he attended a school for free blacks, then he spent five years as a carpenter’s apprentice and four more as a journeyman. In 1858 Cardozo used his savings to travel to Scotland, where he studied at the University of Glasgow, graduating with distinction in 1861. As the Civil War erupted at home, he remained in Europe to study at the London School of Theology and at a Presbyterian seminary in Edinburgh....

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Clapp, Margaret Antoinette (11 April 1910–03 May 1974), educator and diplomat, was born in East Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of Alfred Chapin, an insurance broker, and Anna Roth. Educated in public schools, she received an A.B. with honors from Wellesley College in 1930, having served as student government president her senior year. Moving back to New Jersey, she commuted to New York City where she attended graduate school part time and taught English literature first at the Todhunter School (1930–1939) and then following its merger, at the Dalton School (1939–1942). She received an A.M. from Columbia University in 1937....

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Cook, John Francis, Jr. (21 September 1833–20 January 1910), public official and businessman, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of the prominent African-American clergyman and educator John Francis Cook (1810?–1855) and Jane Mann. Educated first at his father’s school, Union Seminary, he later attended Oberlin College in Ohio from 1853 to 1855. Upon the death of their father, he and his brother George F. T. Cook, also a student at Oberlin, returned to Washington to assume direction of Union Seminary. Except for a brief tenure in New Orleans as a schoolteacher, John Cook was connected with the seminary until it ceased operation in 1867 after the District of Columbia opened public schools for blacks. While his brother remained in the education field and was for many years superintendent of the “separate colored school system” in the District of Columbia, John Cook embarked upon a career in government service, Republican politics, and business....

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Cooper, Myles ( February 1737–20 May 1785), Anglican priest, president of King's College, and Loyalist, Anglican priest, president of King’s College, and Loyalist, was born near Broughton-Furness, Cumberland County, England, the son of William Cooper and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Myles Cooper’s date of birth is not known, but he was baptized probably on 19 February 1737 in Cumberland County, England. In 1753 he entered Queen’s College, Oxford, earning the B.A. in 1756 and the M.A. in 1760. That year he also taught school in Kent. In 1761 he returned to Queen’s College, was appointed chaplain until he was ordained a priest, and published with collaborators ...

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Coppin, Fanny Jackson (1837–21 January 1913), educator, civic and religious leader, and feminist, was born a slave in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Lucy Jackson. Her father’s name and the details of her early childhood are unknown. However, by the time she was age ten, her aunt Sarah Orr Clark had purchased her freedom, and Jackson went to live with relatives in New Bedford, Massachusetts. By 1851 she and her relatives had moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where Jackson was employed as a domestic by ...

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Cotter, Joseph Seamon, Sr. (02 February 1861–14 March 1949), teacher, author, and civic leader, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, the son of Michael (also spelled Micheil) Cotter, a boarding house owner, and Martha Vaughn. Although his father was known as an avid reader, Cotter was raised largely by his mother, a freeborn woman of mixed English, Cherokee, and African blood. It was from her naturally dramatic manner—she orally composed poems and plays as she worked at chores—that he acquired his love of language and stories. Having taught herself, she also taught Cotter to read and enrolled him in school, but at age eight economic necessity forced him to drop out and begin working at various jobs: in a brickyard, then a distillery, and finally as a ragpicker and a teamster. Until age twenty-two, manual labor consumed much of Cotter’s life....

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Crary, Isaac Edwin (02 October 1804–08 May 1854), congressman and educator, was born in Preston, Connecticut, the son of Elisha Crary and Nabby Avery, farmers. He graduated from Trinity College in 1827 and spent two years practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1832 Crary moved to Marshall, Michigan, where he established that town’s first law firm. While law remained Crary’s profession, the advancement of education was his avocation, and he was instrumental in making Michigan a leader in the field of public education during the nineteenth century....

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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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Duer, William Alexander (08 September 1780–30 May 1858), politician, lawyer, and college president, was born in Rhinebeck, New York, the son of Catharine Alexander and William Duer, a patriot entrepreneur whose ventures collapsed in 1792. Duer’s maternal grandfather, Major General William Alexander of New Jersey, claimed the Scottish earldom of Stirling, and through his maternal great-grandfather, ...

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Eddy, William A. (09 March 1896–03 May 1962), diplomat, intelligence agent, and military officer, was born in Sidon, a city in present-day Lebanon, to William King Eddy and Elizabeth (Nelson) Eddy, both of whom were Presbyterian missionaries. Eddy was reared in Beirut, where his father taught at the American University. He had a near-native facility with the Arabic language and could recite long passages from the Koran in several Arabic dialects. After completing his undergraduate degree at Princeton University in 1917, Eddy served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War I. For his valor as a captain in the Battle of Belleau Wood he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, and two Purple Hearts. As a result of his wartime injuries, Eddy walked with a limp for the rest of his life and often used a cane. In 1917 he married Mary Garvin, also the daughter of Protestant missionaries; the couple had four children....

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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.”...