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Frank Charles Laubach

1884-1970. American Congregational missionary and linguist. Born in Benton, Pennsylvania, he was educated at Princeton, Columbia, and Union Seminary, and following ordination in 1914 he did literacy work in the Philippines. In 1929 he began his famous educational project of teaching reading by phonetic symbols and pictures, eventually developing literacy primers for some 300 languages and dialects in over 100 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Laubach came in contact with several world leaders, including Gandhi, who became an advocate of his literacy work in India. The Laubach Method, now world famous, is essentially “each one teach one” in which each new literate teaches another the language. Out of Laubach's efforts grew the Committee on World Literacy and Christian Literature of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America. As an author he wrote widely, often moving beyond linguistics. Among his main works are India Shall Be Literate (1940); Teaching the World to Read (1947); Prayer, the Mightiest Force in the World (1946); and Making Everybody's World Safe (1947).