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Devine, Edward Thomas (06 May 1867–27 February 1948), social worker, writer, and lecturer, was born near Union, Iowa, the son of John Devine and Laura Hall, farmers. He attended Cornell College in Iowa where in 1887 he obtained his A.M.

After graduation and until 1890, Devine was a teacher and the principal of public schools in three Iowa towns, and in 1889 he married Harriet Scovel; they had two children. During these years, he met Simon Patten, an original economic theorist, who emphasized that the United States should focus on wealth distribution to alleviate social problems. In 1890 Devine traveled to the University of Pennsylvania to study under Patten, who soon became his mentor and friend. That same year, he journeyed to Halle, Germany, to study economics, as had Patten. By 1893 Devine had earned his Ph.D. and had begun lecturing on economics for the American Society for the Extension of University Teaching. For this organization, which he later served as executive secretary, he taught courses in Oxford, England, Edinburgh, Scotland, and in several American cities....