List of Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists

List of Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists

Dynamic listA number of noted people have considered themselves Unitarians, Universalists, and following the merger of these denominations in the United States and Canada in 1961, Unitarian Universalists. Additionally, there are persons who, because of their writings or reputation, are considered to have held Unitarian or Universalist beliefs. Individuals who held unitarian (nontrinitarian) beliefs but were not affiliated with Unitarian organizations are often referred to as "small 'u'" unitarians. The same principle can be applied to those who believed in universal salvation but were not members of Universalist organizations. This article, therefore, makes the distinction between capitalized "Unitarians" and "Universalists" and lowercase "unitarians" and "universalists".

It should be noted that the Unitarians and Universalists are groups that existed long before the creation of Unitarian Universalism.

Many historical Unitarians did not hold Universalist beliefs, and many historical Universalists did not hold Unitarian beliefs. But beginning in the Nineteenth century, and even earlier, the theologies of the two groups started becoming more similar.

Additionally, the merger did not eliminate divergent Unitarian and Universalist congregations, especially outside the US. Even in the US there are congregations which still keep only one of the two names "Unitarian" or "Universalist" (though with only a few exceptions, are all part of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)); even those which maintain dual affiliation (e.g. Unitarian and Quaker). Transcendentalism was a movement that diverged from contemporary American Unitarianism but has been embraced by later Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists.

Also note that in Ireland and in Northern Ireland, Unitarian churches are officially called "Non-Subscribing Presbyterian", but are informally known as "Unitarian" and are affiliated with the Unitarian churches of the rest of the world.


* Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836–1903) Unitarian minister who led a group that attempted to liberalize the Unitarian constitution and preamble. He would go on to help found the Free Religious Association. [ [ Biographical Information] for Abbot, Francis Ellingwood. Family Papers, 1815-1940, hosted at the website of Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, and maintained by Frances O'Donnell, October 12, 2005 (Retrieved August 28, 2007).]
* Abigail Adams (1744-1818) [ [ Abigail Adams] ]
* James Luther Adams (1901–1994) Unitarian theologian. [ Notable American Unitarians, 1936-1961] , a project of the First Parish and the First Church in Cambridge (Unitarian Universalist), hosted at the website of [ Harvard Square Library] . Project advisors: Gloria Korsman, Andover-Harvard Theological Library; Conrad Edick Wright, Massachusetts Historical Society; and Conrad Wright, Harvard Divinity School. (Archived July 3, 2007)]
* John Adams (1735–1826)"Some famous Unitarians include Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Paul Revere, President William Howard Taft, and Frank Lloyd Wright... Important figures from this period in Unitarian history include John Biddle, Francis David, Michael Servetus, King John Sigismund and Faustus Socinus... The influential Unitarians from this era included William Ellery Channing, Theodore Parker, Joseph Priestly, and Thomas Starr King, who was also a Universalist." [ Unitarianism] ,, July 31, 2007. (Retrieved August 27, 2007)] Second President of the United States.
* John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) Sixth President of the United States.
* Conrad Aiken (1889 – 1973) Poet.
* Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) Author of Little Women.
* Ethan Allen (1738–1789) Author of "Reason the Only Oracle of Man", and the chief source of Hosea Ballou's universalist ideas. [ Recent Scholarship in American Universalism: A Bibliographical Essay] , Alan Seaburg, "Church History", Vol. 41, No. 4. (Dec., 1972), pp. 513-523. (Retrieved August 28, 2007)]
* Arthur J. Altmeyer (1891–1972) Father of Social Security.
* Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) Unitarian, also a Quaker ["Delineated in detail are formative influences such as her... religious environment (Quaker and Unitarian)..." [ Suffrage for All] , Review of "Susan B. Anthony: Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian" by Alma Lutz. Review author: Hazel Browne Williams, "The Phylon Quarterly", Vol. 20, No. 2. (2nd Qtr., 1959), p. 205. (Retrieved August 25, 2007)]


* E. Burdette Backus (1888–1955) Unitarian Humanist minister (originally a Universalist)
* Dr. Sara Josephine Baker (1873 – 1945) Physician and public health worker.
* Emily Greene Balch (1867–1961) Nobel Peace Laureate
* Roger Nash Baldwin (1884–1981), founder of ACLU
* Adin Ballou (1803–1890) Abolitionist and former Baptist who became a Universalist minister, then a Unitarian minister.
* Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Universalist leader. (Universalist minister and a unitarian in theology) ["Ballou, the son of a poor Calvinist Baptist preacher, was converted to Universalism and began preaching the new “heresy” on a Calvinistic basis in 1791… His first sermon on a Unitarian and Arian base was preached in 1795. Within ten years, through the power of his argumentation, and against the opposition of the prominent Universalist John Murray, Ballou had converted the Universalist ministry to Unitarianism." [ Hosea Ballou, Preacher of Universal Salvation] , Ernest Cassara, "Church History", Vol. 26, No. 4. (Dec., 1957), p. 382. (Retrieved August 25, 2007)] "Some famous Universalists include Clara Barton, Olympia Brown, Thomas Starr King, Horace Greeley, George Pullman, Mary Livermore, and Benjamin Rush. ...Universalist beliefs have been proclaimed for thousands of years, starting with Origen in 200 CE and continuing through to James Relly in the sixteen hundreds... Universalists including Hosea Ballou, John Murray, and Benjamin Rush helped to spread and develop their faith's teachings throughout the denomination's early years." [ Universalism] ,, August 1, 2007. (Retrieved August 27, 2007)]
* John Bardeen (1908-1991) Double Nobel Laureate Scientist
* Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) American showman and Circus Owner [Seaburg, Alan. [ P. T. Barnum] . Unitarian Universalist Historical Society. (Retrieved February 20, 2008).]
* Ysaye Maria Barnwell (1946-) - member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, founded the Jubilee Singers, a choir at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC. [ [ The Jubilee Singers] ]
* Béla Bartók (1881–1945) Composer.
* Clara Barton (1821–1912) Universalist "The Struggle for Racial Justice describes the key roles played by Unitarian and Universalist women... These women included Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, and Julia Ward Howe, who wrote 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic.'" [ Exhibit "Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform" On Display at Women's Rights National Historical Park] , Women's Rights National Historical Park news release, Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Contact: Vivien Rose. (Accessed August 28, 2007)]
* Tim Berners-Lee (1955-) inventor of the World Wide Web."Some Unitarian Universalists of whom you may already have heard include Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Newman, Christopher Reeve, May Sarton, Pete Seeger, and Kurt Vonnegut... Unitarian Universalists James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo were killed because of their participation in this protest..." [ Unitarian Universalism] ,, March 1, 2007. (Retrieved August 28, 2007)]
* John Biddle (1615–1662) minister, called the "Father of English Unitarianism"
* Paul Blanshard (1892 - 1980) Activist.
* Chester Bliss Bowles (1901–1986) Connecticut Governor and diplomat.
* Ray Bradbury (1920-) Author.
* Olympia Brown (1835–1926) Universalist
* Percival Brundage (1892–1979) technocrat ["...he was director of the American Unitarian Association (1942-48) and in 1949 began the first of five years as a director of the Unitarian Service Committee (1949-54). He was... chairman, Unitarian Development Fund Campaign (1959-62)." [ Hall of Fame: Percival Flack Brundage, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University] , 1994-2004. (Archived. Retrieved August 26, 2007)]
* Rev. John A. Buehrens - president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1993-2001 [ [ UUA: The John A. Buehrens Ministerial Scholarships (2 Scholarships) ] ]
* Ralph Wendell Burhoe(1911 - 1997)
* Harold Hitz Burton (1888–1964) U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1945-1958


* John C. Calhoun (1782–1850) [ Vision & Values in a Post-9/11 World: A curriculum on Civil Liberties, Patriotism, and the U.S. Role Abroad for Unitarian Universalist Congregations] , Developed by Pamela Sparr on behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Spring 2002. (Retrieved August 28, 2007)]
* Neville Chamberlain (1869–1940) [cite web
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* Walter Bradford Cannon (1871 - 1945) Experimental physiologist
* William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) Unitarian who later identified himself as an "independent Christian" [Channing favored organized Unitarianism early in his career, but would later distance himself from Unitarianism as a sect, which he believed had become too orthodox, and would identify himself as an "independent Christian." [ Channing and Transcendentalism] , Arthur I. Ladu, "American Literature", Vol. 11, No. 2. (May, 1939), pp. 129-137. (Retrieved August 25, 2007)]
* Charles Chauncy (1592 - 1672) Unitarian Congregationalist minister. [ [ Chauncy, Charles] . (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 29, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online]
* Brock Chisholm (1896 - 1971) Director, World Health Organization
* Grenville Clark(1882 - 1931) Author
* Joseph S. Clark (1901 - 1990) US Senator and mayor of Philadelphia
* Stanley Cobb (1887–1968) Neurologist and psychiatrist
* William Cohen (b. 1940) U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001), U.S. Senator from Maine (1979-1997)
* Henry Steele Commager (1902–1998) American historian and biographer of Theodore Parker
* Kent Conrad (b. 1948) U.S. Senator from North Dakota (1992- ) [ [ Kent Conrad on the issues] ]
* William David Coolidge (1873-1975) Inventor, physician, research director
* Norman Cousins (1915 - 1990) Editor and writer, Unitarian friend * E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) Poet and painter


* Cyrus Dallin (1861-1944) American sculptor
* Ferenc Dávid (often rendered "Francis David") (1510–1579) Hungarian-Transylvanian priest, minister and bishop, first to use the word "Unitarian" to describe his faith
* George de Benneville (1703–1793) Universalist
* Karl W. Deutsch (1912-1992) International political scientist
* John Dewey (1859-1952) Author of "A Common Faith", Unitarian friend
* Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English novelist. [ [ Charles Dickens] ]
* John H. Dietrich (1878-1957)
* James Drummond Dole (1877-1958) Entrepreneur
* Emily Taft Douglas (1899-1994) US Representative, Illinois
* Paul Douglas (1892–1976) US Senator, also a Quaker [cite web
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* Richard Eddy (1828-1906) Minister and author of 1886 book "Universalism in America".
* Charles William Eliot (1834–1926) Landscape architect
* Samuel Atkins Eliot (1862-1950) First president of the Unitarians
* Thomas H. Eliot (1907-1991) Legislator and educator
* Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist
* William Emerson MIT dean of architecture


* Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876–1978) Liberal religious educator
* Joseph L. Fisher (1914-1992)
* Robert Fulghum (1937-) UU minister and writer ["For 22 years he served as a parish minister of Unitarian churches in the Pacific Northwest." [ About the Author] , from the [ official website of Robert Fulghum] , 2006. (Retrieved August 28, 2007)]
* Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983)


* Frank Gannett (1876-1957) Newspaper publisher
* Mike Gravel (1930-) U.S. Senator; 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate [ [ Mike Gravel's Unitarian Universalism] , by Doug Muder, "UUWorld", December 10, 2007. Accessed January 14, 2008.]
* Dana Greeley (1908-1986) The first Unitarian Universalist president
* Horace Greeley (1811–1872) Universalist
* Chester Greenwood (1858–1937) inventor [PDF| [] ]
* Gary Gygax (1938-2008) game designer and creator of Dungeons and Dragons, called himself a Christian, "albeit one that is of the Arian (Unitarian) persuasion." [ [ Q&A with Gary Gygax, Part I] ]


* Donald S. Harrington (1914-2005)
* Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000) theologian [ [] ]
* John Hayward philosopher of religion and the arts
* Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-1990) founder, Unitarian Service Committee of Canada
* John Holmes (1904-1962) poet
* Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910) author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."


* Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) Unitarian ["More than one Republican apologist fairly pointed out that the unitarian Jefferson was no greater an infidel than the unitarian Adams... Although [Jefferson] was elected to an Anglican parish vestry, no record exists of his having served in that capacity. He was famous for not attending church and did so semiregularly only during his presidency and near the end of his life. To friends, he referred to himself variously as a 'Theist,' 'Deist,' 'Unitarian,' 'Rational Christian,' and 'Epicurean'; 'I am a sect unto myself, as far as I know,' he wrote." "America's Founding Faiths", by Forrest Church, "UU World" magazine, Vol. XXI, Nol 4, Winter 2007.]
* Joseph Johnson (publisher)


* György Kepes (1906-2001) visual artist
* Thomas Starr King (1824–1864) minister who during his career served both in Universalist and in Unitarian churches
* James R. Killian president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
* W.M. Kiplinger (1891-1967) publisher of the "Kiplinger Letters"
* Abner Kneeland (1774–1844) Universalist minister and denominational leader who, after leaving the denomination to become a leader in the freethought movement, was convicted and jailed for blasphemy.


* William L. Langer (1896-1977) historian of diplomacy
* Margaret Laurence (1926–1987) Author
* Alfred McClung Lee sociologist
* Viola Liuzzo (1925–1965)
* Arthur Lismer (1885-1969) Canadian painter, educator
* Mary Livermore (1820–1905) Universalist
* Arthur Lovejoy founder of the History of Ideas movement


* John P. Marquand (1893–1960) author
* Bernard Maybeck architect, Unitarian
* Robert Millikan scientist
* Ashley Montagu anthropologist and social biologist
* Christopher Moore founder of Chicago’s Children’s Choir
* Mary Carr Moore composer, teacher, Far Western activist for American Music
* Arthur E. Morgan human engineer and college president
* John Murray (1741–1815) Universalist minister and leader


* Maurine Neuberger (1907-2000) US Senator
* Paul Newman (1925-2008) Actor, film director


* Origen (185-254) Ancient Christian scholar
* Mary White Ovington (1865-1951) NAACP founder


* Bob Packwood (b. 1932) U.S. Senator from Oregon (1969-1995)
* David Park West coast painter.
* Theodore Parker (1810–1860) Unitarian minister and transcendentalist ["On February 24, 1860, the Boston Unitarian minister and transcendentalist, Theodore Parker, wrote Professor Desor from Rome..." [ Darwin and the Transcendentalists] , John B. Wilson, "Journal of the History of Ideas", Vol. 26, No. 2. (Apr. - Jun., 1965), p. 286. (Retrieved August 25, 2007)]
* Linus Pauling (1901–1994) Nobel Laureate for Peace and for Chemistry
* Randy Pausch (1960–2008) Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Author of "The Last Lecture" ["Randy Pausch, Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, died on July 25 after a two-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. A Unitarian Universalist who first came to this faith as a member of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), Pausch was 47 years old. Celebrated in his field for co-founding the pioneering Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center and for creating the innovative educational software tool known as “Alice,” Pausch earned his greatest worldwide fame for his inspirational The Last Lecture which was subsequently published by Hyperion Books." [ In Memoriam: Randy Pausch] ,]
* Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin astronomer and astrophysicist.
* William T. Pheiffer, American lawyer/politician []
* William Pickering space explorer
* Daniel Pinkham Composer
* Van Rensselaer Potter global bioethicist
* Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) discoverer of oxygen and Unitarian minister
* George Pullman (1831–1897) Universalist


* Mary Jane Rathbun Marine zoologist
* James Reeb (1927–1965) civil-rights martyr
* Curtis W. Reese Religious Humanist
* Christopher Reeve (1952–2004) Unitarian Universalist ["Unitarian Universalist... Christopher Reeve... was today remembered by UUA President William G. Sinkford... Sinkford said, '...Christopher bore witness in both word and deed to the healing power of his Unitarian Universalist faith. I am so thankful that he found a religious home with us and a faithful minister in the Rev. Frank Hall of the Westport (Connecticut) Unitarian Church.'" [ In Memoriam: Christopher Reeve, Unitarian Universalist] ,, Oct. 12, 2004. (Retrieved August 27, 2007)]
* James Relly (c.1722–1778) Universalist
* Paul Revere (1735–1818)
* Malvina Reynolds (1900–1978) Songwriter / singer / activist
* Elliot Richardson (1920–1999) often listed as "Anglican" but was a member of a UU church near Washington DC for many years Lawyer and public servant
* Benjamin Rush (1745–1813) Very active in the Universalist movement, although never technically joined a Universalist congregation


* Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979) U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
* May Sarton Poet
* Arthur Schlesinger (1917–2007) American historian
* Richard Schultes Explorer of the Amazon jungle
* William F. Schulz - former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association [ [ High-profile advocate for human rights] , by Kimberly French, "UUWorld", Winter 2006 11.1.06]
* Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) late in life unitarian; honorary member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (Unitarian Friend)
* Pete Seeger (b. 1919) Folk singer and song writer
* Roy Wood Sellars Philosopher of religious humanism
* Rod Serling (1924–1975) Writer; Creator of The Twilight Zone television series. ["The Serlings joined the UU Community Church of Santa Monica, California..." * "Looking back: 'Twilight Zone' writer challenged prejudice", by Kimberly French, "UU World" magazine, Vol. XXI, Nol 4, Winter 2007.]
* Michael Servetus (1511–1553) proto-unitarian
* Lemuel Shaw A Unitarian and Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Under his leadership, the court convicted Abner Kneeland, a former Universalist, of blasphemy.
* Herbert A. Simon Artificial intelligence pioneer
* Rev. William G. Sinkford (b. 1946) - seventh president of the Unitarian Universalist Association "Biographical sketch:The Reverend William G. Sinkford"]
* Faustus Socinus
* Pete Stark, D.-Calif. (1931—): U.S. Representative. [Stark called himself "a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being" and has been identified as an atheist. [ Rep. Stark applauded for atheist outlook: Believed to be first congressman to declare nontheism] , Associated Press, March 13, 2007 (Accessed June 15, 2007)]
* W. Lane Startin (b. 1973) author and politician []
* Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879–1962) Arctic explorer and champion of Native American rights
* Adlai Stevenson (1900–1965) Illinois governor, and Democratic Presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956
* Dirk Jan Struik (1894–2000) mathematician [ Dead link|date=May 2008]


* William Howard Taft (1857–1930), President of the United States (1909-1913)


* Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007) [Vonnegut said "I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in churches quite a lot)."cite book | last = Haught | first = James A. | title = 2,000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt | year = 1996 | publisher = Prometheus Books | id = ISBN 1-57392-067-3 ]


* Caroline Farrar Ware Historian and social activist
* Daniel Webster (1782–1852)
* Alfred North Whitehead Philosopher (Unitarian Friend)
* Willis Rodney Whitney The "Father of Basic Research in Industry"
* David Rhys Williams
* William Carlos Williams (1883–1963) Physician and author
* Samuel Williston Dean of America's legal profession.
* Edwin H. Wilson Unitarian Humanist leader
* Theodore Paul Wright Aeronautical engineer
* Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) Among Wright's architectural works were Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, and First Unitarian Society in Madison, Wisconsin. ["Frank Lloyd Wright's contact with All Souls Church may have begun in December of 1884 when his father had preached there. The "All Souls Church Fourth Annual", dated January 6, 1887, was the first to list Wright as a member..." [All Souls is a Unitarian church in Chicago, Illinois] [ Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple and Architecture for Liberal Religion in Chicago, 1885-1909] , Joseph Siry, "The Art Bulletin", Vol. 73, No. 2. (Jun., 1991), pp. 257-282. (Retrieved August 26, 2007)]
* Quincy Wright Author of "A Study of War"
* Sewall Wright Evolutionary theorist.
* N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945) Illustrator and painter


* Whitney M. Young (1921–1971) Social work administrator


* John II Sigismund Zápolya King of Hungary, then Prince of Transylvania.

Footnotes, citations and references

ee also

* Unitarian Universalist Association
* International Council of Unitarians and Universalists
* List of people by belief

External links

* [ Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography]
* [ Famous UUs]
* [ The Quick Guide to the History of Nordic Unitarianism]

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