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Ramírez, Sara Estela (1881–21 August 1910), poet, radical journalist, and political organizer, was born in Villa Progreso, Coahuila, Mexico. Little is known about her parents except that her mother died when Ramírez was two years old, and her father eventually immigrated to Laredo, Texas, to live with her. Ramírez attended public school in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and at seventeen years of age graduated from the teachers’ college, Ateneo Fuentes, in her home state of Coahuila. Upon receiving her teaching certificate, she immediately immigrated to Laredo to teach Spanish to Tex-Mex schoolchildren at the Seminario de Laredo. Although Ramírez studied English while in Laredo, she wrote in Spanish, and it was the Mexican proletariat to whom she remained devoted....

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John Reed. Gelatin silver print, c. 1916, by Pirie MacDonald. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Reed, John (22 October 1887–17 October 1920), journalist and revolutionary, was born John Silas Reed in Portland, Oregon, the son of Charles Jerome Reed, a supervisor in the sale of farm equipment and later a U.S. marshal, and Margaret Green, the daughter of a wealthy capitalist. Sickened by kidney troubles, young Reed was sheltered by his mother. Having only his brother Harry as a playmate, Reed read fantasy and history books and developed an active imagination. He was healthy enough by age twelve to attend the prestigious Portland Academy, where he was a shy, mediocre student. In 1904 he enrolled in Morristown, a college preparatory school in New Jersey. There, through his pranks and charm, he became a popular rebel, writing short stories, poems, and essays for the school literary magazine....