William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

Coffin, William Sloane, Jr., 1924–2006, American Protestant social activist, b. New York City. Strongly influenced by the social philosophy of Reinhold Niebuhr, Coffin became a leader in the civil-rights and peace movements of the 1960s and 1970s when he was chaplain at his alma mater, Yale. As minister (1977–87) of Riverside Church in New York City he was involved with such social concerns as nuclear disarmament and the plight of war refugees. Subsequently remaining active in the international peace and disarmament movement, he continued to write, teach, and lecture; from 1987 to 1990 he headed SANE/Freeze. Among his books is A Passion for the Possible (1993).

See his memoir (1977); biography by W. Goldstein (2004).

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