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Parsons, Elsie Clews (27 November 1874–19 December 1941), sociologist and anthropologist, was born Elsie Worthington Clews in New York City, the daughter of Henry Clews, a Wall Street broker, and Lucy Madison Worthington. Declining to take up the society life for which she was destined by her family’s wealth and position, she overcame parental opposition to enroll in Barnard College, graduating in 1896, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in sociology at Columbia University in 1899. The following year she married Herbert Parsons, a public-spirited lawyer who served as a Republican congressman from New York City from 1905 to 1911. They had six children, four of whom survived infancy....