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Dennis J. Comey. Photograph by Zamsky Studio, used by permission of Sarony Studios Inc. Courtesy of Francis F. Burch.

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Comey, Dennis J. (26 May 1896–14 October 1987), Roman Catholic clergyman and labor arbitrator, was born Dennis Joseph Comey in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Dennis Joseph Comey, an iron worker at the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and Catherine Veronica Reagan Comey; the parents had been farmers who emigrated from Timoleague, County Cork, Ireland. The oldest of thirteen children, he excelled in studies and athletics at St. Joseph's College Preparatory School in Philadelphia. On 30 July 1914 he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York, and continued his classical studies. He earned his A.B. (1920), M.A. (1921), and Ph.D. (1929) in philosophy from Woodstock College, Maryland; he first taught Latin at Boston College High School (1921–1922) and then Latin, Greek, Spanish, and rhetoric at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1922–1925). He pursued theological studies at Woodstock College, where he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on 20 June 1928. A year's concentration on ascetical theology at St. Beuno's College, Wales, preceded his solemn profession of his Jesuit vows in Rome, Italy, on 15 August 1931. In 1931 the Gregorian University in Rome named him a doctor of theology and in 1932 ...

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Dietz, Peter Ernest (10 July 1878–11 October 1947), Roman Catholic priest and labor activist, was born in New York City, the son of Frederick Dietz, a varnisher, and Eva Kern. His parents had emigrated from Bavaria, and the family was large and poor. After attending parish schools and a series of Catholic colleges in Pennsylvania and New York, Dietz, in 1900, entered the novitiate of the missionary community of the Society of the Divine Word in Moedling, Germany. Two years later, however, hoping to found a new religious order, he withdrew from the community. His plans came to naught, and in 1903 he returned to the United States, subsequently studying at Catholic University and at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Dietz affiliated himself with the diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, and was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal ...

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Hamid, Sufi Abdul (06 January 1903–30 July 1938), religious and labor leader, was born, according to his own statement, in Lowell, Massachusetts. According to Harlem historian Roi Ottley, however, he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At various times Hamid also claimed to have been born in different places in the South. Little is known about Hamid’s early life, including his parents’ identities. According to Ottley, his original name was Eugene Brown. In an interview with writers from the Works Progress Administration, Hamid claimed to have been taken to Egypt at the age of nine, then to Athens, Greece, where he received his schooling through the university level. According to the interview, he returned to the United States in 1923 and began to work for the William J. Burns Detective Agency in St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Hamid soon left that job and moved to Chicago, where he joined the Ahamidab movement, an Islamic organization based in India. During this time he changed his name to Bishop Conshankin. In 1928 he left that organization and formed the Illinois Civic Association, which led several boycotts of white-owned businesses in black areas of Chicago that refused to hire African Americans. Sponsored by the Chicago ...

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Mosessohn, David Nehemiah (01 January 1883–16 December 1930), dress industry arbitrator and editor, was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, the son of Nehemiah Mosessohn, a rabbi and publisher, and Theresa Nissenson. Mosessohn came from a long line of rabbis, and his grandfather had once been chief rabbi of Odessa. In 1888 the entire family emigrated to the United States, and David grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from high school in 1900. He attended the University of Oregon and received his law degree from that university in 1902. That same year his father also received his law degree, and they were the youngest and the oldest graduates in 1902. Between 1902 and 1918 Mosessohn engaged in a general law practice while a senior member of Mosessohn and Mosessohn. Between 1908 and 1910 he served as deputy district attorney of Multnomah County. Together with his brother Moses Dayann Mosessohn, Mosessohn also served as publisher of the weekly ...

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Stelzle, Charles (04 June 1869–27 February 1941), clergyman, labor advocate, and writer, was born in New York City, the son of the German immigrant John Stelzle, a small brewer, and Doretta Uhlendorf. Stelzle grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side, and after the death of his father he worked at age eight as a tobacco stripper for fifty cents a week. He joined a street gang and was arrested twice, but his mother sent him to Sunday school at the Presbyterian Hope Chapel. He changed his ways, learned the trade of a machinist, and, stirred by the desire to help, began theological studies....

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Yorke, Peter Christopher (15 August 1864–05 April 1925), Catholic priest and social justice advocate, was born in Galway, Ireland, the son of Gregory Yorke, a fisherman, and Bridget Kelly. His father died when Yorke was six months old, and his mother remarried. Sometime in the 1870s or 1880s his mother and family immigrated to British Columbia and, after her second husband’s death, moved to San Francisco. Yorke, however, stayed in Ireland where he received most of his early education in Galway and Tuam....