Lloyd L. Morain (1917-2010)

The Humanist, September-October 2010 | Go to article overview

Lloyd L. Morain (1917-2010)


"Back through the centuries whenever people have enjoyed keenly the sights and sounds and other sensations of the world about them, and enjoyed these for what they were--not because they stood for something else--they were experiencing life humanistically"--Lloyd Morain in Humanism as the Next Step, 1954.

When explaining why, as editor of the Humanist, he had created the Humanist Essay Contest, Lloyd Morain would tell the story of how he grew up poor, raised in a shack in Northern California. But one day he entered an essay contest, was later declared the first-place winner, and through that received a university scholarship that not only gave him the education he longed for, but brought him into contact with some of the great philosophical and literary minds of the age: Rudolph Carnap, Bertrand Russell, John Steinbeck, and others. Since this contest had so profoundly changed his life, he wanted to pass on a bit of that opportunity to others through a similar program sponsored by the Humanist magazine.

From his education, and the contacts it afforded, Morain went on to work in various capacities in the motion picture industry, industrial mining, and utilities. He was an associate producer with San Francisco Films and was president of the Illinois Gas Company.

During World War II, while serving in Britain as a member of the U.S. Air Corps, Morain also acted as a field representative for the American Humanist Association. In that capacity he met with British humanist leaders toward the goal of increasing international humanist contact after the war. And in the late 1940s he went on to play a key role in connecting humanist leaders from Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States--work that led to the founding of the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 1952. Lloyd and his wife, Mary, were the AHA delegates at that conclave. Today the IHEU is made up of over 100 atheist, freethought, humanist, rationalist, secularist, and humanistic religious organizations in more than forty countries and represents humanist interests in the Council of Europe and the United Nations. …

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