McCloskey, James(1943– ) minister, social activist; born in Philadelphia, Pa. After achieving success as a businessman, he entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1979 and as student chaplain at Trenton State Prison, he came into contact with death row prisoners. Founding Centurion Ministries in Princeton, N.J., in 1983, he dedicated himself to freeing prisoners he was convinced had been unjustly sentenced. Using old-fashioned detective work, he coordinated the successful appeals of a growing number of prisoners condemned to long sentences or death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.