Mott, John Raleigh

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Mott, John Raleigh

John Raleigh Mott, 1865–1955, American Protestant ecumenical leader, b. Livingston Manor, N.Y. While a student at Cornell, Mott, a Methodist layman, became active in the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). Upon graduation (1888), he joined its national staff and founded (1895) its World Student Christian Federation, serving (1895–1920) as its general secretary. Mott was an organizer of the World Misssionary Conference, in Edinburgh (1910), which launched the 20th-century ecumenical movement, and he is often considered the father of the World Council of Churches. A prolific author, he was also chairman of the International Missionary Council (1921–42), president of the World Alliance of YMCAs (1926–37), and held several other important posts in Christian groups. For his work in promoting international goodwill, understanding, and tolerance, Mott was awarded the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with Emily Greene Balch.

See biographies by B. J. Matthews (1934), G. M. Fisher (1952), R. C. Mackie et al. (1965), and C. H. Hopkins (1979).

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