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Bruce, William Cabell (12 March 1860–09 May 1946), author, municipal politician, reformer, and U.S. senator, was born at “Staunton Hill,” his father’s plantation, in Charlotte County, Virginia, the son of Charles Bruce, a planter, Virginia state senator, and captain during the Civil War, and Sarah Alexander Seddon, both members of established, affluent families in Virginia. Although the Bruce family lost much of their wealth during the Civil War, William still grew up surrounded by maids, servants, tailors, and tutors. Bruce’s mother, a devout Christian, instilled in William strong religious beliefs that influenced his character throughout his formative years....

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Franklin, John Hope (2 Jan. 1915–25 Mar. 2009), historian, author, civil rights activist, and public intellectual, was born in the all-black town of Rentiesville, Oklahoma, the son of Mollie (Parker) Franklin, an elementary school teacher, and Buck Colbert Franklin, an attorney, local postmaster, and store owner who had attended Roger Williams College in Nashville and Atlanta Baptist College (later renamed Morehouse College). Buck Franklin’s father had been a slave owned by members of the Choctaw Nation and served in a United States Colored Troops regiment during the Civil War. When John Hope Franklin was about five years old his father moved to Tulsa, where he opened a law practice. He planned to move his family there in ...

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Salvemini, Gaetano (08 September 1873–06 September 1957), historian and anti-Fascist activist, was born in the southern Italian town of Molfetta (Apulia, Bari province) in an extended family of small farmers and fishermen. He was the son of Ilarione Salvemini, a member of the ...

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Terkel, Studs (16 May 1912–31 Oct. 2008), oral historian, radio broadcaster, and political activist, was born Louis Terkel in the Bronx, New York. He was the third son of Samuel Terkel, a tailor, and Anna (Annie) Finkel, a seamstress, who had immigrated from Russia in ...