Norman Mattoon Thomas

1884-1968. Presbyterian clergyman and frequent presidential candidate. Born in Marion, Ohio, he studied at Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary. After ordination in 1911 he became pastor of East Harlem Church, and chairman of an American parish settlement house in New York City (1911-18). He then was secretary of the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation* and until 1921 edited its magazine, The World Tomorrow, which he had founded. He was co-director of the League for Industrial Democracy (1922-37). He demitted the ministry in 1931. Gradually assuming leadership of the Socialist Party, he ran unsuccessfully for several political offices, including the U.S. presidency (six times). He helped to forge his party's policies, giving “critical support” to the war effort in World War II and opposing Communism, Fascism, and social injustice. In later years he turned to the problem of international peace. He helped found the American Civil Liberties Union. Later writings include A Socialist's Faith (1951); The Test of Freedom (1954); The Prerequisites for Peace (1959); and Socialism Re-examined (1963).