Mott, John Raleigh

Mott, John Raleigh,

1865–1955, American Protestant ecumenical leader, b. Livingston Manor, N.Y. While a student at Cornell, Mott, a Methodist layman, became active in the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). Upon graduation (1888), he joined its national staff and founded (1895) its World Student Christian Federation, serving (1895–1920) as its general secretary. Mott was an organizer of the World Misssionary Conference, in Edinburgh (1910), which launched the 20th-century ecumenical movement, and he is often considered the father of the World Council of ChurchesWorld Council of Churches,
an international, interdenominational organization of most major Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Christian churches; founded in Amsterdam in 1948, its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
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. A prolific author, he was also chairman of the International Missionary Council (1921–42), president of the World Alliance of YMCAs (1926–37), and held several other important posts in Christian groups. For his work in promoting international goodwill, understanding, and tolerance, Mott was awarded the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with Emily Greene BalchBalch, Emily Greene
, 1867–1961, American economist and sociologist, b. Jamaica Plain, Mass., grad. Bryn Mawr, 1889. She taught at Wellesley College until her dismissal (1918) for opposing U.S. involvement in World War I.
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See biographies by B. J. Matthews (1934), G. M. Fisher (1952), R. C. Mackie et al. (1965), and C. H. Hopkins (1979).

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Mott, John Raleigh

(1865–1955) religious leader; born in Sullivan County, N.Y. He grew up in Iowa and returned to New York for college, graduating from Cornell in 1888. In 1891 he became foreign secretary for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and was the organization's general secretary from 1915–31. He oversaw the Y's welfare programs for Allied servicemen during World War I. An influential ecumenical leader for all his long life, he became honorary president of the World Council of Churches in 1948. He published 15 books, including The Larger Evangelism (1944).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.