Clive D. Knowles was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1910. He graduated with honors from Bates College in 1933. He earned a master's degree in social ethics from the University of Chicago in 1934, and an S.T.B. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1936. He taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C., for a year at the invitation of Benjamin E. Mays (Bates Class of 1920) and then dean of the Howard School of Religion. Ordained in the First Unitarian Church of Gardner, Massachusetts, Knowles served that church for a year before becoming executive director of the Massachusetts Labor Non-Partisan Political League.
After serving in combat during World War II, Knowles began a lifetime career in organized labor. He worked with the AFL-CIO in California, was an organizer with United Farmworkers alongside Cesar Chavez, and was also director of the Council of Carpenters. He devoted his life to help win equal pay and working conditions for minority groups in the workplace. After retirement, he was a ski instructor for five years with the Apache Mescalero Tribe of New Mexico. He spent the summers in Franklin, Maine, establishing the Molasses Pond Writer's Workshop, and with his daughter worked on production of the revival of Old Jed Prouty that played in coastal summer theaters. Author of the unpublished Passing Through: A Yankee Radical's Journey, he also wrote a memoir, No Man Can Live Without Hope (1994). He died in Sarasota, Florida, on February 27, 1996.
A typescript of Knowles' unpublished autobiography which provides a genealogical sketch of his family and traces his life from his boyhood in Massachusetts, through his service in World War II, and to his later work with organized labor.
The collection is open for research.
The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.
These records are indexed under the following headings in the Bates College Library catalog. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Knowles, Clive D.--Archives
Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
No provenance information available. Accession No.: xx-062.
Passing through: a Yankee radical's journey (with the FBI tailing along), Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.
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