Devine, Edward Thomas

Devine, Edward Thomas

(1867–1948) social worker, editor; born near Union, Hardin County, Iowa. After earning a doctorate in economics (1893), he was secretary of the American Society for Extension of University Teaching (1894–96). Named general secretary of the New York Charity Organization Society (1896–1917), he played a major role in the development of social work as a profession. Pragmatic, temperate and experimental in attitude, he helped establish the precursor to the Columbia University School of Social Work (1898) and was a force in improving the conditions in urban slums. On a national level, he assisted in disaster relief, served on the United States Coal Commission (1922–23), and was director of the New York Housing Association (1930) along with emergency relief agencies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.