Rutherford, Joseph Franklin

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President of jehovah's witnesses; b. Morgan County, Mo., Nov. 8, 1869; d. San Diego, Calif., Jan. 8,1942. Having practiced law in Missouri for 15 years, he became (1906) legal adviser of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society founded by Pastor Charles Taze rus sell. After Russell's death in 1916, Rutherford was elected president of the society. He and seven other officers were subsequently found guilty of violating the Espionage Law; after serving nine months in Atlanta penitentiary, they were released on bail and the charges were later dropped. In 1931 "Judge" Rutherford coined the name "Jehovah's Witnesses" for his movement. In 20 books and numerous pamphlets he attacked all Christian churches and was particularly critical of Roman Catholicism. At his death his followers numbered about 100,000.

[w. j. whalen]