Burgess, David (Stewart) 1917-

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BURGESS, David (Stewart) 1917-


Born June 15, 1917, in New York, NY; son of John S. (a college professor) and Stella (a poet; maiden name, Fisher) Burgess; married, November 20, 1941; wife's name Alice; children: Laurel, Lyman, John, Genie Burgess Castro, Stevens. Ethnicity:"Scotch." Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1935; Union Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1944. Politics: Democrat. Religion: United Church of Christ. Hobbies and other interests: Public affairs, international relations.


Home—300 East H St., Unit 114, Benicia, CA 94510-3333. E-mail—[email protected].


Ordained Congregational minister (now minister of the United Church of Christ), 1944; Federal Council of Churches, missionary to migrants in Florida and New Jersey, 1942-43; Southern Tenant Farmers Union, chaplain in New Jersey, Tennessee, Arkansas, and southeastern Missouri, 1944-47; Congress of Industrial Organizations, organizer for textile workers' union in South Carolina, 1947-49, organizer for political action committee in North Carolina, 1949-51, executive director of Georgia council, 1951-55; U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, labor attaché at American embassy in India, 1955-60, chief of Indonesia-Burma desk of Agency for International Development, 1961-63, director for Peace Corps in Indonesia, 1963-64, director of Peace Corps industrial worker recruitment, 1964-65, member of State Department Examining Board, 1965-66; UNICEF, deputy director for East Asia and Thailand, 1966-72, senior spokesperson in the United States and Canada, 1972-77; Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities, Cambridge, MA, director, 1977-78; pastor of inner-city churches in Newark, NJ, 1979-89; Affordable Housing Affiliation, Benicia, CA, president, 1994—. Metropolitan Ecumenical Ministry, Newark, director, 1979-90.


Social Action Award, United Church of Christ, 1946; Meritorious Service Award, U.S. Department of State, 1959.


Fighting for Social Justice: The Life Story of David Burgess (autobiography), Wayne State University Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Contributor to magazines, including Progressive, New Century, and New Republic.


David Burgess told CA: "Though I have written only one book, during my various professions as a labor organizer, State Department foreign service officer, UNICEF official, and minister, I have written dozens of reports. I was motivated to write my autobiography because my father composed his autobiography to cover his life from his birth in 1883 until the day of my birth in 1917. Unfortunately he died in 1949, with only half of his life story written."



Christian Century, October 10, 2001, Leon Howell, review of Fighting for Social Justice: The Life Story of David Burgess, p. 41.

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