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Breen, Joseph Ignatius (14 October 1890–07 December 1965), Motion Picture Code administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Breen, an Irish immigrant, and a mother unnamed in biographical sources. His father inspired in him a drive to succeed but also taught him the importance of his Catholic faith. Breen attended parochial schools in Philadelphia and completed his education at St. Joseph’s College in that city. He married Mary Derin, a childhood sweetheart, and they had six children who survived infancy....


Will Hays [left to right] Will Rogers and Will Hays, c. 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-83080).


Hays, Will H. (05 November 1879–07 March 1954), motion picture industry official, lawyer, and politician, was born William Harrison Hays in Sullivan, Indiana, the son of John T. Hays, an attorney, and Mary Cain. He graduated from Indiana’s all-male Wabash College in 1900 and privately studied law. Upon passing the Indiana bar, Hays opened a law office in Sullivan and became city attorney. He moved through a variety of political offices in Indiana before he was named chairman of the Republican National Committee in June 1918. When ...