Tierney, Richard Henry

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Editor, publicist; b. New York, NY, Sept. 2, 1870;d. New York, Feb. 10, 1928. He was the sixth of eight children of Richard and Bridget (Shea) Tierney, whose home in Spuyten Duyvil often served as a mission station for Catholics of that section of New York City. After graduating in 1892 from St. Francis Xavier College, New York City, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Frederick, Maryland, continued his studies at Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland, and was ordained June 27, 1907. He taught philosophy and pedagogy at Woodstock from 1909 to 1914, when he was named editor-in-chief of America, the weekly Jesuit publication. He quickly brought the review to increased public attention by his forceful stand on controversial issues. He was critical of Pres. Woodrow Wilson's policy on Mexico and published damaging facts about the religious persecution of the Carranza regime there. This service was recognized by Benedict XV in a letter of March 17, 1915, to Cardinal James Gibbons. Under Tierney's direction, America was neutral in reporting World War I issues until the U.S. entered the war. He was deeply interested in the cause of Irish independence. An editor of strong views who shrank from no controversy, he maintained the review at a high level until failing health forced his retirement in 1925.

Bibliography: r. j. purcell, Dictionary of American Biography, ed., a. johnson and d. malone, 20 v. (New York 192836) 18:532533. f. x. talbot, Richard Henry Tierney (New York 1930).

[t. n. davis]