William Sloane Coffin, Jr, 1924 - 2006

portrait of William Sloane Coffin
From the cover of William Sloane Coffin Jr: A Holy Impatience by Warren Goldstein (2005)
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Born: 1 June 1924, New York City
Died: 12 April 2006, Strafford, Vermont

Born into a well-known American family, his great-grandfather founded an imports and furniture manufacturing company, his father was president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his uncle was president of Union Theological Seminary. His father died in 1933. Coffin attended Deerfield Academy with a strong interest in music, he and his mother moved first to Paris and then to Zurich and returned to the US where Coffin finished high school at Phillips Academy Andover in 1942, then joined the Army as an intelligence liaison to the French and Soviets. He entered Yale, was president of the Glee Club and a member of Skull and Bones, graduating in 1949. He joined the CIA for three years, then entered Yale Divinity School where he earned his Bachelor of Divinity in 1956 and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He was chosen as chaplain of Yale, a position he held until 1975. He took a year off to create the first training programs for the Peace Corps in 1962 and became active in opposing the draft during the Vietnam war. In 1977 he became the senior minister at Riverside Church at New York City, he left ten years later to devote more time to nuclear disarmament. The Nation called him "the true heir to Martin Luther King" and was the model for "the Rev. Scot Sloan" in Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury. He was given six months to live in early 2004, his congestive heart failure didn't progress as quickly as anticipated.

Biography from Wikipedia and CBS News obituary

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