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Charles Edward Coughlin

Coughlin, Charles Edward (kŏgˈlĭn) [key], 1891–1979, Roman Catholic priest in the United States, b. Ontario, Canada, grad. Univ. of Toronto, 1916. After study at St. Michael's College, Toronto, he was ordained (1916) and became (1926) pastor of the Shrine of the Little Flower at Royal Oak, Mich. In the 1930s he made radio addresses in which he criticized such diverse groups as U.S. bankers, trade unionists, and Communists. In 1934 he organized the National Union for Social Justice, which denounced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies and advocated such measures as silver inflation as well as the nationalizing of banks, utilities, and natural resources. Coughlin also published a magazine, Social Justice, in which he expressed pro-Nazi opinions and made increasingly anti-Semitic remarks directed especially at Jewish members of Wall Street. The magazine was barred from the mails by the U.S. government for violation of the Espionage Act and ceased publication in 1942. Father Coughlin was meanwhile silenced by his superiors but continued his parish duties.

See A. Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1982).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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