Fred Whitehead

On this date in 1944, Fred Whitehead was born in Pratt, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1965 and earned his Ph.D. in English from Columbia University in 1972. Whitehead is an editor and freethought historian who edits the quarterly newsletter Freethought History, which describes the history of atheism and freethought. He writes articles for publications including Free Inquiry. Whitehead edited Freethought on the American Frontier (1992), a collection of essays from early freethinkers of the American West, with Verle Murher. Whitehead and Murher wrote: “From the earliest days of colonization, there has been a struggle between Christianity and freethinkers on this continent.” In 1989, Whitehead was given an Award for Exceptional Service by the Kansas Writers Association.

“Far from being marginalized, as is presently the case, nineteenth-century freethought was a social movement at the core of our national life.”

—Freethought on the American Frontier, Fred Whitehead and Verle Murher, 1992.

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor; Photo used with permission of Fred Whitehead

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