Editor, author, educator; b. Philadelphia, Penn., March 17, 1887; d. Washington, DC, Oct. 28, 1958. He was the son of Paul Julian and Alice (Avery) Parsons. After attending high school in New York, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1903. He studied at the Jesuit seminary in Louvain, Belgium (1907–09), and at Woodstock, Maryland, where he obtained his Ph.D. (1910) and was ordained (1918). He went to Rome, received a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University (1921), and then returned to Woodstock as professor of theology (1922–24). From 1925 to 1936 he served as editor of the Jesuit weekly, America, tending to support New Deal reforms and to oppose Republican economic policies; he was also a sharp critic of Rev. Charles E. coughlin, a bitter opponent of F. D. Roosevelt's administration. After 1936 Parsons was engaged in teaching political science at Georgetown University (1936–37, 1948–50, 1954–58) and the Catholic University of America (1938–47), both in Washington, D.C. He contributed articles to several Catholic journals, including Thought, which he founded in 1926. His books include The Pope and Italy (1929), Mexican Martyrdom (1936), Early Catholic Americana (1939), Which Way Democracy? (1939), and The First Freedom (1948).
[j. l. morrison]