Speer, Robert Elliott

Speer, Robert Elliott

(1867–1947) Protestant missionary leader; born in Huntingdon, Pa. The son of a Democratic politician, he decided on a missionary career during his second year at Princeton, became secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church two years after graduation, and continued as spokesman, chief fund-raiser, and publicist for church missions for nearly 50 years (1891–1937). He believed that Christianity would bring "progress and free government" to all peoples, from the West to the East.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.