Homer A. Jack

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Jack, Homer Alexander (19 May 1916 - 5 August 1993)

Jack, who was born in Rochester, New York, was educated at Cornell, receiving a Ph.D. in biology in 1940.

Instead of a career in science, however, he went on to Meadville Theological School in Chicago in 1944, studying for the ministry.

Active in efforts to prevent U.S. entry into World War II, he helped to organize Rochester antiwar rally and edited Rochester No-War News.

In 1942 attended meetings of Fellowship of Reconciliation and helped organize 1942 Chicago sit-in protest.

He served as Unitarian minister in Lawrence, Kansas (1942-43), was executive secretary of the Chicago Council Against Racial and Religious Discrimination (1943-48), became minister of Unitarian Church of Evanston, Illinois (1948-59), co-founded and was associate director of American Committee on Africa (1959-60), co-founded and the executive director of National Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy (1960-64), was a director of Social Responsibility Department of Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston (1964-70), became Secretary General of the World Conference on Religion and Peace in New York (1970-83), and then became a minister in Winnetka, Illinois (1984-late 1980s).

He retired to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, to work on his autobiography, which was published posthumously as Homer's Odyssey: My Quest for Peace and Justice (1996). He also wrote Disarmament Workbook (1978) and Disarm-or Die (1983).

Asked once why he had a doctorate in science but was involved in so many non-scientific ventures, Jack explained, “I became more interested in men than in mice.” A dynamic organizer, he assailed McCarthyism as well as Soviet totalitarianism and anti-Semitism. Dr. Jack supported China’s entry to the United Nations. Among his books are Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi (1951), The Gandhi Reader (1955), and Religion for Peace (1973).

Jack's Son's Memories

Alex Jack, an educator on health and diet, wrote about his father's life, detailing how his father moved from an interest in flora and fauna to fighting fascism and totalitarianism.