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Curtis, George William (25 February 1824–31 August 1892), writer, editor, and orator, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of George Curtis, a banker and businessman, and Mary Elizabeth Burrill, whose father had been a U.S. senator from and chief justice of Rhode Island. After his mother died in 1826, Curtis and his older brother James Burrill Curtis were cared for by their father and relatives for four years and then attended a boarding school in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts. In 1835 their father married Julia B. Bridgham, aged twenty-four, and the boys joined them in Providence. Four years later the family moved to New York City, where Curtis was tutored for a short time and then became a counting-house clerk. He and his brother participated in the Brook Farm communal experiment at West Roxbury, outside Boston (1842–1843), returned home for a year, and became farmhands in Concord (1844–1846). During these years, Curtis made enormous intellectual strides through contact with ...

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Hapgood, Norman (28 March 1868–29 April 1937), journalist, critic, and reformer, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Charles Hutchins Hapgood, a farm implement manufacturer, and Fanny Louise Powers. He grew up in wealth in Alton, Illinois. In 1890 he graduated with an A.B. from Harvard University, where he was strongly influenced by Professor ...

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La Follette, Belle Case (21 April 1859–18 August 1931), political activist and magazine editor, was born in Juneau County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Anson Case and Mary Nesbit, farmers. She attended the University of Wisconsin in 1875, taking a modern classical course. She became a member of the Laurean Literary Society and represented it at the junior oratory exhibition. At graduation in 1879 she won the Lewis Oratorical Prize for the best commencement oration. She taught high school near Madison for two years after graduation....

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Robert Morss Lovett. Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1930. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G39-T-5691-019).

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Lovett, Robert Morss (25 December 1870–08 February 1956), educator, writer, and reformer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Augustus Sidney Lovett, an insurance broker, and Elizabeth Russell. Lovett grew up in the Roxbury section of Boston and then went to Harvard, where he graduated at the head of his class with an A.B. in English in 1892....

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Rusher, William Allen (19 July 1923–16 April 2011), conservative activist and publisher of National Review, conservative activist and publisher of National Review, was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Evan Rusher, a businessman, and Verna Self Rusher. When Bill (as he was known throughout his life) was six years old, the Rusher family moved to Long Island so his father could pursue new opportunities. While still in his teens, he developed an interest in Republican politics. His parents were not particularly politically active Republicans, but they followed the 1936 presidential election with some interest because his mother, like the Republican nominee ...