Schlafly, Adelaide Mahaffey Adelaide Mahaffey Schlafly 1915 - 2012 Who Fought Tirelessly for Social Justice

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 3, 2012 | Go to article overview

Schlafly, Adelaide Mahaffey Adelaide Mahaffey Schlafly 1915 - 2012 Who Fought Tirelessly for Social Justice


Schlafly, Adelaide Mahaffey Adelaide Mahaffey Schlafly 1915 2012 who fought tirelessly for social justice, racial integration, education, and international understanding, died in St. Louis at age 97 on September 30, 2012. Born in St. Louis on July 19, 1915, the second of four daughters of Birch Oliver Mahaffey and Laura Elizabeth McBride Mahaffey, she attended schools in St. Louis, South Carolina, New York, Paris and Florence. On December 2, 1939, she married Daniel Lyons Schlafly. They worked together on many civic causes, particularly in his long service as a reformer on the St. Louis Board of Education. Mr. Schlafly died in 1997. In 1956, Adelaide Schlafly graduated magna cum laude from Saint Louis University with a degree in history. She saw the effects of poverty, segregation, and limited opportunity first hand before World War II as a volunteer in Catholic pre-school for poor African-American children, inspiring her to dedicate her time and talent on their behalf and those like them. Very early, she fought for a Missouri public accommodations law, helped found the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, and was a leader in the Missouri Association for Social Welfare. Adelaide Schlafly promoted opportunity for African- Americans wherever she could, whether at the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the National Council of Catholic Women, the White House Council on Education, the St. Louis Internship Program, HarrisStowe College, the Urban League, the NAACP, the St. Louis Catholic and Public Schools, and as a member of the Catholic Interracial Council and the Archdiocesan Human Rights Commission. In 1961, when she noticed that the only portrait missing from Georgetown University's gallery of presidents was of the mixed race Fr. Patrick Healy, she insisted the university hang his with the others. Adelaide Schlafly's study and travel abroad and knowledge of foreign languages inspired her to work for international causes, particularly with the St. Louis chapter of the United Nations Association, the American Forum for Global Education, and the United Nations University. …

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