Dorothy Day: An Advocate for The Poor Essay

2573 Words 11 Pages
In a society of protagonist superheroes within books and televisions all across the world, what makes a real hero? Is it leadership, determination, courage, dedication, or conviction? To all, Dorothy Day is all of the above. To many, she is a saint; a woman of true selflessness, who compassionately put the lives of the broken before her own. She is the icon of the kind of leader that everyone else, anyone else, can be, not by changing other people but by changing themselves (Chittister). Throughout her life, Dorothy Day was a herald to the church, a leader to the state, and an advocate for the poor.
Dorothy Day entered the world in Brooklyn, New York on November 8th, 1897. Born to Grace and John Day, she was the third of five children.
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Dorothy was ashamed of her new house, which was considered a poverty-filled area. Having no steady jobs, her parents had no money for furniture or more importantly, food. Her mother made bookcases and kitchen tools out of orange crates and nail kegs. As a teenager, Dorothy’s interest in social problems grew as she learned more about the working class from The Day Book, a newspaper company her older brother Donald worked for, which dealt with labor problems. For only a penny a copy, readers could read about needs for higher wages, more unions, safer factories, lower streetcar fares, and the women’s right to vote. It also tackled the important stories ignored by most other newspapers in the area. According to Duane C.S. Stoltzfus, the author of Freedom from Advertising (2007), “The Day Book served as an important ally to workers, a keen watchdog on advertisers, and it redefined news by providing an example of a paper that treated its readers first as citizens with rights rather than simply as consumers” ( The newspaper also informed her about people like Eugene Debs, and organizations such as the Industrial Workers of the World, who had been organizing a great union with a quarter of a million members from the mines and woods of the Northwest to the textile factories of the East ( This growing interest in social
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