1930-1940Origination : Coughlin, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1891-1979
Charles Coughlin Collection (CGH), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556
Booklets containing radio sermons and lectures.
Charles E. Coughlin, a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, became famous as a radio preacher. Born 25 October 1891 in Hamilton, Ontario, son of an Irish-American baker from Erie, Pennsylvania, and an Irish-Canadian mother, he attended St. Michael's College in Toronto (1903-1907), Toronto University (1907-1911), and St. Basil Scholasticate, Toronto. He served as a teacher in a Basilian College in Waco, Texas; as a Basilian he was ordained in 1916 and became a professor at Assumption College, Sandwich, Ontario.
He became a priest of the Diocese of Detroit, served at St. Augustine's in Kalamazoo (1922), St. Leo's in Detroit (1923), and as pastor in North Branch, Michigan (1925). In 1926 he was sent to Royal Oak, Michigan, to found the Shrine of the Little Flower, and began his radio broadcasts over WJR in Detroit. In 1929 he established his own chain of three radio stations. He broadcast on the Columbia Network in 1930 and 1931, when a new policy eliminated him. In 1931 he established a chain of 20 radio stations, the largest in the United States at the time. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 1933.
Early in his career he distinguished himself as an advocate of social justice, but during the 1930s his rhetoric became increasingly intemperate and his attacks on the Jews eventually caused ecclesiastical authorities to silence him.