Mary Morain

On this date in 1911, Mary Morain was born in Cambridge, Mass. She studied social work and therapy and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Morain spent time as president of the International Society for General Semantics, and was a member of its board of directors and executive committee. Morain served on the birth control boards in Massachusetts and California in the 1940s and 1950s, and supported Planned Parenthood. She married Lloyd Morain in 1946. Morain died in 1999 after contracting pneumonia.

A strong humanist, Morain devoted much of her life to popularizing humanism and supporting worldwide humanist organizations. In 1954, she and Lloyd Morain published Humanism As the Next Step, which explains the basics of humanism. Along with Lloyd, she founded the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 1952. D. 1999.

“Believing that we exist only in a single world, the natural world that we share with other living creatures, and that we have no special first-class tickets that allow for travel to continuous existence in other spheres at the end of our journey in this life. In our human distresses, we have only each other to turn to for help.”

—Mary Morain, 1994 acceptance speech for the American Humanist Association after being named Humanist of the Year along with Lloyd Morain.

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor

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