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Diggs, Annie LePorte (22 February 1848–07 September 1916), Populist orator and journalist, was born in London, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Cornelius LePorte, a French-Canadian lawyer, and Ann Maria Thomas. While Annie was still a small child, her father moved the family to New Jersey. She had a private governess then attended public schools and a convent school, but she always regretted her lack of a college education. Deciding on a career in journalism, she lived briefly in Washington, D.C., before moving west in 1873. She worked in a Lawrence, Kansas, music store demonstrating pianos until she married Alvin S. Diggs, a postal clerk, that September. The couple had three children....

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Grady, Henry Woodfin (24 May 1850–23 December 1889), journalist and orator, was born in Athens, Georgia, the son of William Sammons Grady, a substantial merchant, and Ann Eliza Gartrell. He attended the local schools and the University of Georgia, from which he was graduated in 1868. He then spent a year as a postgraduate student at the University of Virginia. He excelled as a debater. The events of the Civil War and its tumultuous aftermath made a profound impression on Grady, whose father, an officer in the Confederate army, died of wounds suffered at Petersburg. In 1869 Grady entered the field of journalism, editing a succession of small newspapers in Rome, Georgia, before becoming part-owner and editor of the Atlanta ...

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O’Hare, Kate Richards (26 March 1876–10 January 1948), socialist orator and columnist, was born Carrie Kathleen Richards in Ottawa County, Kansas, the daughter of Andrew Richards and Lucy Sullivan, homesteaders. In 1887 drought and financial reverses forced the Richards family to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri. Kate attended Pawnee City Academy in Nebraska in 1893–1894 but, after teaching school for one term, chose to work in her father’s machine shop in Kansas City, becoming one of the first women to join the International Association of Machinists. Considering a ministry in the Disciples of Christ, she became a temperance worker and in 1896 joined the staff of the Florence Crittenton Mission in Kansas City, which sought to uplift prostitutes and alcoholics. Increasingly influenced by political tracts of social criticism to which her father had introduced her, she abandoned rescue efforts after hearing a talk by the famous militant union organizer “Mother” ...

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Simmons, Roscoe Conkling Murray (20 June 1878–27 April 1951), orator, politician, and writer, was born in Greenview, Mississippi, the son of Emory Simmons, a principal of a black school in Hollandale, Mississippi, and Willie Murray. He grew up in Aberdeen, Mississippi, and worked for a time as Ohio senator ...