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William Sloan Coffin, Jr.
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Religious Figure
    (June 1, 1924-April 12, 2006)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Presbyterian clergyman
    Chaplin of Yale University (1958-75)
    Senior minister at interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City (1977-87)
    Civil rights and anti-war activist
    Founding member of Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam (1965)
    Before enrolling in divinity school, he worked for the CIA.
    When George W. Bush was a freshman at Yale and his father lost a Senate election to Ralph Yarborough, Coffin made a point of telling him, 'The better man won.' (According to Dubya; Coffin denied the story.)
    After he said young men would be 'morally justified' in turning in their draft cards, he was convicted (with Dr. Benjamin Spock and two others) of conspiracy to aid and abet draft resistance (June, 1969).
    He was lampooned in 'Doonesbury' as Rev. Scott Sloan, 'the thoroughly modern minister.'
    He left the pulpit at Riverside to campaign against nuclear weapons full-time.
    He was married three times, divorced twice.
    He ran the first training program for the Peace Corps (1961).
    He was arrested three times during desegregation protests in the South (1961,1963-64).
    His conspiracy conviction was overturned on appeal (1970).
    He traveled to Tehran at his own expense to help the hostages at the US embassy celebrate Christmas (1979).
    His son Alex died in a car crash (1983).
    He said, 'People who fear disorder more than injustice will only produce more of both.'
    He said, 'If I am lucky enough to see God one day, I'll have a few questions. But God will have many more to ask me, if he's keeping tabs.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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