Healy, James Augustine

Healy, James Augustine

(1830–1900) Catholic prelate; born in Jones County, Ga. The son of a black slave woman and white plantation owner, he graduated from Holy Cross College (1849) and was ordained in Paris (1854). After serving as a pastor and administrator in the Boston archdiocese, he was named bishop of Portland, Maine (1875). The nation's first African-American Catholic bishop, though not widely known as such, he was an effective orator, builder of churches, and benefactor of the needy.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.