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Corliss Lamont

Born in Englewood, New Jersey, in 1902, Dr. Corliss Lamont graduated first from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1920, then magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1924. He did graduate work at Oxford and at Columbia, where he received his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1932. He was director of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1932 to 1954. Then, until 1995, he was chairman of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. A leading proponent of individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, he won famous court decisions over Senator Joseph McCarthy and the CIA. In 1965, he secured a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against censorship of incoming mail by the U.S. Postmaster General. Lamont has long been associated with humanism, authoring the first edition of The Philosophy of Humanism in 1949. It has since become the standard text on the subject. He taught at Columbia, Cornell, and Harvard Universities, and at the New School for Social Research.