Howlett, Duncan 1906-2003

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HOWLETT, Duncan 1906-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 15, 1906, in Newton, MA; died from injuries sustained after a fall May 19, 2003, in Fryeburg, ME. Minister and author. Howlett gained national attention as an advocate of civil rights while he was a minister at All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., during the 1960s. At first studying to be an attorney, he earned a law degree from Harvard University in 1931 and practiced for two years before deciding, for moral reasons, that he would rather be a minister. Returning to Harvard, he earned his S.T.B. in 1936, after being ordained a minister in the Unitarian-Universalist church the previous year. He then served as a pastor in Salem, New Bedford, and Boston, Massachusetts, during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. He moved to Washington, D.C., to accept a post at All Souls Church in 1958. There, he became known for actively supporting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s protests against racism in America and joining in marches in the U.S. capital and across Mississippi. He also chaired the D.C. advisory committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during the mid-1960s and was on the executive committee of the Washington home rule committee. In 1968 Howlett resigned his post and worked to have an African American minister, Rev. David Eaton, take his place. He then moved to Lovell, Maine, where he studied forestry at the University of Maine and became a tree farmer. Howlett was the author of half a dozen books, including Man against the Church (1954), The Fourth American Faith (1964), and The Fatal Flaw: At the Heart of Religious Liberalism (1995)



Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.


Boston Globe, May 31, 2003, p. E12.

Washington Post, May 26, 2003, p. B6.