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date: 14 October 2019

Thomas, Dorothy Swainelocked

(24 October 1899–01 May 1977)
  • Mary Jo Deegan


Thomas, Dorothy Swaine (24 October 1899–01 May 1977), sociologist and educator, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of John Knight Thomas, a salesman, and Sarah Elizabeth Swaine. Her father left the family when Dorothy was twelve, and her mother began work as a paid companion. Thomas then lived with an uncle she did not particularly like and took refuge in voracious reading. She enjoyed and excelled in school. As a senior, she won a citywide essay contest and a scholarship to a local college. After she unwittingly broke a school rule, however, the high school authorities decided that she could not graduate or receive her award. Seeking other funds for college, she applied for and was awarded a scholarship to Barnard College, where her intellectual career flourished....

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