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John Dewey

John Dewey, radical philosopher and early ACLU activist was interested mainly in education. He asserted that “democracy has always been allied with humanism, with faith in the potentials of human nature” and that “democracy means the belief that humanistic culture should prevail.”

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, another early ACLU leader, was born into an active socialist family. Her father was an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and she joined that organization at age 16. Flynn joined the Communist Party in 1936, and she was active in the CP for the rest of her life. She went to the USSR in 1964 to represent the CPUSA at an International Party Congress. She became ill, died in the Soviet Union, and was honored with a state funeral in Red Square.

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs, who founded the Socialist Party of America, was a five time Socialist Candidate for the presidency. Debs, the only candidate to run for U.S. President from prison, was an ACLU activist.