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Castro, Sal (25 October 1933–15 April 2013), high school teacher and community activist, was born Salvador Castro in Los Angeles, the only child of Carmen Buruel and Salvador Castro, both Mexican immigrant workers. Because his father was undocumented he was deported in 1935 as part of a repatriation movement that blamed Mexican immigrants for taking jobs from “real Americans” during the Great Depression; Castro and his mother were spared being part of this tragic episode. The separation eventually led to his parents divorcing; his mother later remarried....

Article

Howe, Samuel Gridley (10 November 1801–09 January 1876), educator of the handicapped and social reformer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Neals Howe, a prosperous maker of ropes and cordage, and Patty Gridley. During the War of 1812, Joseph Howe lost money by selling cordage to the federal government for which he received in payment useless treasury notes, leaving his family in straitened circumstances during Samuel Howe’s boyhood....

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Horton, Myles (9 July 1905–19 Jan. 1990), co-founder of the Highlander School, educator and activist in the labor and civil rights movements, was born Myles Falls Horton in Savannah, Tennessee, the eldest son of Elsie Falls Horton and Perry Horton. Both parents were schoolteachers prior to Horton’s birth, but lost their jobs when the qualifications to teach were increased to include a year of high school, which neither of them possessed. After a number of years of low-paying jobs, Horton’s father became an active participant in the Worker’s Alliance, the union of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), while Horton’s mother volunteered to teach literacy in the community. Horton later said that he took from his mother a belief in the power of love, “the principle of trying to serve people and build a loving world” (Horton, p. 7). These lessons in working for the greater good of society would serve as the guiding force throughout his life....

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Russ, John Dennison (01 September 1801–01 March 1881), educator of the blind, social reformer, and physician, was born in what is now Essex (then part of Ipswich), Essex County, Massachusetts, the son of Parker Russ, a physician, and Elizabeth Cogswell. He graduated from Yale College in 1823 and soon afterward went to Brunswick, Maine, where he studied medicine with Dr. John D. Wells, a member of the faculty of medicine at Bowdoin College (Russ did not enroll at Bowdoin, however). He studied further in Baltimore and Boston and in 1825 received the M.D. degree from Yale Medical School. During 1825 and 1826 Russ was in Europe where he served in several hospitals. After his return to the United States he practiced medicine in New York City....