John C. Cort
Born 1913
Died 2006
Education Harvard University
Occupation editor
Employer Commonweal
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Helen Haye
(not the theatrical impressario)

John C. Cort (1913–2006), was a longtime Christian socialist writer and activist. He was the co-chair of the Religion and Socialism Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America. He was based in metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. He fathered 10 children with his wife, Helen Haye Cort,[1] and he still cantored in his local parish at the age of 92.

Soon after graduating from Harvard College (class of 1935) [2] and converting to Catholicism, he was moved by a speech by Dorothy Day. He was one of the earliest Catholic Workers who started at the Main Street House in 1936. He worked with the Catholic Worker for a few years. For several years he edited the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists' Labor Leader. He served on the editorial staff of Commonweal magazine from 1943 to 1959.[3] He was an assistant director of the Peace Corps. In the 1970s he directed the Model Cities Program in Lynn, Massachusetts.

He wrote several books and articles for magazines. He was the founding editor of the Religion and Socialism Commission's Religious Socialism magazine. [1] He contributed to the American Friends Service Committee's Peacework Magazine. [2]

He was described as "personally conservative but socially and politically radical, well-read but never pedantic, funny, chivalrous, of broad culture but a man of the people." Unlike most Catholic Workers, John Cort was not a pacifist, but he did oppose the Vietnam War using the Just War theory. [3]

John Cort's papers are housed at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives at Catholic University.[4]

Selected bibliography

  • Christian Socialism: An Informal History, published in 1988 by Orbis Books. (ISBN 0883446006)
  • Dreadful Conversions: The Making of a Catholic Socialist Fordham University Press, 2003

See also



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