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Founder of National Conference of Christians and Jews Dead at 89

January 24, 1986

GUILFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Everett R. Clinchy, founder and former president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, has died at the age of 89.

Clinchy died Wednesday at Branford Hills Health Center, near his home in Guilford, said James E. Pitt, a spokesman for the conference.

An ordained Presbyterian minister who discouraged the use of his religious title, Clinchy waged a lifelong campaign for cultural democracy in the United States. He founded the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1928 as a reaction to anti-Catholic bigotry that raged during the presidential campaign of Alfred E. Smith.

In 1958, Clinchy left the conference to devote his time to World Brotherhood, a branch of the conference. World Brotherhood became an independent international effort to promote racial, religious and social understanding.

Its co-chairmen were Adlai E. Stevenson, Philippine Ambassador Carlos Romulo, Vijaya Lakschmi Pandit of India and Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgium’s foreign minister.

With Stevenson, Spaak and others, Clinchy later formed the Council on World Tensions to assist in the search for solutions to international conflict.

In 1963, Clinchy created the Institute on Man and Science in Rensselaerville, N.Y., as a place where scientists and educators could study the relationship of scientific and economic achievements to human needs.

Clinchy attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., in 1916, until he joined the Army. After serving in France with a field artillery unit, he returned home and earned a bachelor of science from Lafayette College in New Jersey.

It was during the war, when he saw men of many faiths working together, that he realized what he called ″a basic human and divine unity among them.″

Clinchy also earned a master’s degree in sociology from Columbia University and received his doctorate from Drew University in Madison, N.J., in 1934. He was ordained in 1921.

Clinchy retired from the conference in 1972, when he was 75, but continued his mission. In 1980, he launched ″Islam and the West,″ a program to foster understanding between Christian and Moslem cultures. In 1985, he traveled to Spain to participate in a symposium on that subject.

Clinchy is survived by his wife, Winifred Mead Clinchy, a son, two daughters, a sister, a brother, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A memorial service for Clinchy will be held in the spring.

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