14 Unitarian Universalist Leaders

14 Unitarian Universalist Leaders

Who are some of the more famous UUs?

Five United States presidents were Unitarians: John AdamsThomas JeffersonJohn Quincy AdamsMillard Fillmore and William Taft. While he did not specifically identify with any organized religion, Abraham Lincoln had Universalist leanings. Other famous UUs are listed below.

  • Horatio Alger (1832-1899), writer of rags-to-riches books for boys.
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), author of Little Women and other books.
  • Tom Andrews, U.S. Representative from Maine.
  • Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), organizer of the women’s suffrage movement.
  • George Bancroft (1800-1891), founder of the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Adin Ballou (1803-1890), critic of the injustices of capitalism.
  • P.T. Barnum (1810-1891), well-known showman, owner of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and a founder of Tufts University.
  • Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Hungarian composer.
  • Clara Barton (1821-1912), founder of the American Red Cross.
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone; founder of Bell Telephone Company.
  • Henry Bergh (1811-1888), a founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
  • Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), mathematician, navigator, astronomer.
  • Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer.
  • William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), author and newspaper editor.
  • Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844), architect of the United States Capitol building.
  • Luther Burbank (1849-1926), American botanist of the early 20th century.
  • Robert Burns (1759-1796), Scottish poet and song writer.
  • William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), abolitionist, founder of Unitarianism in America.
  • William Cohen, U.S. Senator from Maine.
  • Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888), lithographer, partner of James Merritt Ives.
  • e.e. cummings (1894-1962), 20th century American poet, noted for his unorthodox style and technique.
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882), scientist and evolutionist, author of On the Origin of Species.
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English novelist.
  • Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), crusader for the reform of institutions for the mentally ill.
  • Don Edwards, U.S. Representative from California since 1965.
  • Charles William Eliot (1834-1926), president of Harvard, editor of the Harvard Classics.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Unitarian minister, philosopher, essayist.
  • Edward Everett (1794-1865), president of Harvard, governor of Massachusetts, UU minister.
  • Fannie Farmer (1857-1915), cooking expert.
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), scientist, writer, statesman, printer.
  • Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), a feminist before her time. Leading figure in the Transcendentalist movement and an editor of The Dial, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), abolitionist, editor of The Liberator.
  • Horace Greeley (1811-1872), journalist, politician, editor and owner of the New York Tribune, champion of labor unions and cooperatives.
  • Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), Unitarian minister and author of The Man Without a Country.
  • Andrew Hallidie (1836-1900), inventor of the cable car.
  • Bret Harte (1836-1902), writer, author of The Luck of Roaring Camp.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), 19th century American novelist, author of The Scarlet Letter.
  • John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964), co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), lawyer and member of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1902-32.
  • Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), composer of Battle Hymn of the Republic.
  • Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), pioneer in working with the deaf and blind.
  • Abner Kneeland (1774-1844), advocate of land reform, public education and birth control.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), poet, author of Paul Revere’s Ride.
  • James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), noted 19th century poet, anti-slavery leader, and Unitarian minister.
  • Horace Mann (1796-1859), a leader in the public school movement, founder of the first public school in America in Lexington, Mass., President of Antioch College, U.S. Congressman.
  • John Marshall (1755-1835), Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
  • Thomas Masaryk (1850-1937), the first president of Czechoslovakia (1920), proponent of democracy and social justice.
  • Herman Melville (1819-1891), writer, author of Moby Dick.
  • Samuel Morse (1791-1872), inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code.
  • Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), British nurse and hospital reformer.
  • Thomas Paine (1737-1809), editor and publisher of Common Sense.
  • Theodore Parker (1810-1860), a renegade Unitarian minister of the mid-19th century and a leading figure of the Abolitionist movement in the Boston area.
  • Linus Pauling, chemist, won Nobel Peace Prize, 1962.
  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), author of Peter Rabbit and other children’s stories.
  • Joseph Priestly (1733-1804), discoverer of oxygen, Unitarian minister.
  • Elliot Richardson, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Attorney General (1973).
  • Paul Revere (1735-1818), silversmith and patriot.
  • Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence; physician, considered to be the Father of American Psychiatry.
  • Carl Sandberg (1878-1967), American poet, won Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Ted Sorenson, speechwriter and aide to John F. Kennedy.
  • Charles Steinmetz (1865-1923), electrical engineer, holder of 200 patents, known for his theoretical studies of alternating current.
  • Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), Governor of Illinois, candidate for President, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
  • George Stephenson (1781-1848), English engineer, invented the first locomotive.
  • Gilbert Charles Stuart (1755-1828), artist, best known for his portrait of George Washington.
  • Sylvanus Thayer (1785-1872), engineer, founded U.S. Military Academy.
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), essayist and naturalist, author of Walden Pond.
  • Hendrik Wilhem Van Loon (1882-1944), historian and author.
  • Kurt Vonnegut, writer, author of Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • Daniel Webster (1782-1852), orator, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, presidential candidate.
  • Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), English potter, founder of Wedgwood Pottery.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959), architect.
  • Owen D. Young (1874-1962), Chairman of General Electric Company.
  • Whitney Young (1921-1971), head of the Urban League.

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