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James C. Duram & Judith Johnson
Chapter : William O. Douglas: 1939–1975
BORN IN MAINE, Minnesota, October 16, 1898, William Orville Douglas was the second of three children of Rev. William Douglas and Julia Bickford Fisk Douglas. In 1904 Douglas's father, a Presbyterian minister who had recently moved his wife and children to a new pastorate in Washington State, died, leaving them impoverished. William had contracted a near fatal case of infantile paralysis at the age of three, and he had a difficult childhood in Yakima, Washington. However, through the loving care and intellectual encouragement of his strong-willed mother and his determined efforts to strengthen his weakened legs through hiking, he overcame his handicap and graduated from Yakima High School in 1916 as valedictorian. The love of the outdoors ...