Michael Harrington


Biography of Michael Harrington

Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington (February 24, 1928 – July 31, 1989) was an American democratic socialist, writer, political activist, political theorist, professor of political science, radio commentator and initiator of the Democratic Socialists of America. During the 1970s he invented the term neoconservatism.

Michael Harrington was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 24, 1928, to an Irish-American family. He attended St. Roch Catholic School and Saint Louis University High School, where he was a classmate (class of 1944) of Thomas Anthony Dooley III. He later attended the College of the Holy Cross, the University of Chicago (MA in English Literature), and Yale Law School. As a young man, he was interested in both leftist politics and Roman Catholicism. He joined Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist group that advocated a radical interpretation of the Gospel. Harrington enjoyed arguing about culture and politics, and his Jesuit education had made him a good debater and rhetorician.

On May 30, 1963, Harrington married Stephanie Gervis, a free-lance writer and staff writer for the Village Voice. He died on July 31, 1989, of cancer.

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