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Day, Dorothy

Day, Dorothy, 1897?1980, American journalist and social activist, b. New York City. After studying at the Univ. of Illinois (1914?16), where she joined the Socialist party, she returned to New York and wrote for socialist publications. In 1927 she joined the Roman Catholic Church, then wrote for the lay Catholic Commonweal and with French activist Peter Maurin cofounded (1933) the Catholic Worker, a newspaper she edited for four decades. The Catholic Worker Movement, which grew out of the newspaper, supports social justice and pacifist causes based on Catholic principles, including feeding the homeless and housing them in Catholic settlement houses. A political activist who opposed the atomic bomb, the draft, and various U.S. policies, she was arrested and jailed several times. Among Day's writings are the semiautobiographical novel The Eleventh Virgin (1924); From Union Square to Rome (1938), about her conversion to Catholicism; and The Long Loneliness (1952), a memoir of her life and times.

See The Reckless Way of Love, a miscellany of her writings ed. by K. Kurtz (2017); biographies by K. Hennessy, her granddaughter (2017) and J. Loughery and B. Randolph (2020).

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

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