In Memoriam

Edwin H. Wilson

August 23, 1899 - March 26, 1993

Summer 2003

Edwin H. Wilson, the father of organized Humanism in the U.S., died in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 26, 1993. He was 94 years old.

Ed's meritorious service to rational thought and responsible behavior brought world-wide recognition and respect to the humanist movement. He was a key figure in drafting the Humanist Manifesto I, published in 1933 and the revised version, published 40 years later in 1973. He founded the New Humanist magazine and the Humanist Bulletin, serving as their Managing Editor from 1928 to 1941 when they were combined into one publication titled the Humanist which continues to be the official publication of the American Humanist Association (AHA). Wilson was the Editor of the publication from 1941 to 1957 and again from 1963 to 1965. He was the first Executive Director of the American Humanist Association which he helped to establish in 1941.

For his service to humanism, Ed was honored in 1955 with the AHA Humanist Merit Award in 1972, the Unitarian Universalist Association presented him their top award "For Distinguished Service to Liberal Religion", and in 1979 he was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. In addition to his distinguished career with Humanism, Edwin H. Wilson was also an ordained minister of the Unitarian Church. One of his ministries was the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City from 1946 to 1949.

The Humanists of Utah was organized two years ago with the guiding hand of Ed Wilson. The 100 members of the local Chapter appreciate his leadership and his inspiration. In his honor, we will continue to promote his philosophy of seeking rational solutions to the problems confronting the human race.

As a tribute to our beloved friend, we quote the following. It was written by an old companion, Corliss Lamont, in his book, Humanism as a Philosophy. It is a fitting epitaph.
This Life, This Nature is Enough!

Humanism is an affirmative philosophy. It is essentially yea-saying. It says: "Yes, this mighty and abundant Nature is our home: in it we ever live and move and have our being. This Nature produced the marvel of life and the race of man(humankind). It sustains us with its varied goods and stirs us with its wonderful beauty. Yes, this is a good earth and upon it we can create a worth-while and happy existence for all humanity. Yes, we men (humans) possess the glory of mind and the power of freedom; we know the grace of body and the splendor of love. We are grateful for the many simple pleasures that are ours, for the manifold enjoyments which art and culture and science bring. We mortals delight in the sweetness of living rather than lamenting its brevity. And we rejoice in being able to hand on the torch of life to future generations. Yes, this life is enough; this earth is enough; this great and eternal Nature is enough."

--Flo Wineriter