was born at Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts
, on 22 August 1915. He was the son of Raymond Pennington Dellinger
and Marie E. Fiske
. David graduated at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut
, in 1936. Institution: Yale University. Pacifist, peace activist, editor, author. A descendant of old New England families, studied at Oxford University, Yale Divinity School, and Union Theological Seminary (1939--40). His passionate pacifism would lead him to the forefront of militant, nonviolent activism. Jailed in 1940 and again in 1943 for draft resistance, upon his release in 1945 he formed the Libertarian Press printing cooperative. In 1956 he became editor and publisher of Liberation, a major voice of radical pacifism. As an opponent to American involvement in Vietnam, he was a major link to the North Vietnamese government and facilitated the release of American prisoners of war. He was arrested as a leader of the antiwar demonstration that erupted in riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (1968) and was sentenced to seven years (conviction overturned). Emphasizing the need for radical change as well as nonviolence, he became editor of Seven Days magazine (1975--80). In the 1980s he moved to Vermont to teach and write. His books include Revolutionary Nonviolence (1970), More Power Than We Know (1975), and From Yale to Jail (1993).
David Dellinger, age 54 at the time of trial, was the Chicago Seven's old man. The stern, evangelical Christian Socialist from Wakefield, Massachusetts was described by prosecutors "the chief architect of the conspiracy" because of his position as the chair of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.
Dellinger's dedication to anti-war causes began early in life. After graduating from Yale, Dellinger was studying in the Union Theological Seminary when World War II broke out. Despite his eligibility for a deferment as a seminary student, Dellinger refused to register for the draft and, as a result, was sentenced to three years in prison. Later, he actively opposed both the Korean War and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
Dellinger usually appeared in court in the same green-tweed sports jacket and rumpled flannels giving him the appearance of "an off-duty scoutmaster," according to J. Anthony Lukas. He was a combative and uncompromising presence in the courtroom, hurling angry words such as "liar," "fascist," or "you're the chief prosecutor" at Judge Hoffman when he felt the cause of the defendants had been wronged.
When the Democratic Convention returned to Chicago in 1996, Dellinger, then age 81, was in town to speak at a "Stop the Drug War" rally in Grant Park. He regularly fasts in an effort to change the name of Columbus Day to "Native American Day."
He died on 26 May 2004 at Montipelier, Vermont
, at age 88. He was New Tag Obituary by the Associated Press, as printed in the 27 May 2004 Denver Post:
"Dellinger was part of Chicago Seven
His life of dissent began three decades before his arrest outside the 1968 Democratic convention
By The Associated Press
Montipelier, Vt. - Peace activist David Dellinger, one of the Chicago Seven arrested and tried for their parta in the violent anti-war protests outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, has died at 88.
Dellinger died Tuesday, said the administrator of Heaton Woods, the Montipelier retirement home where the activist had been living.
Dellinger was a pacificist who devoted much of his life to protesting. A member of the Old Left whose first arrest came in the 1930s during a union-organizing protest at Yale, he was generation older than his Yippie co-defendants in the Chicago Seven case.
"Mainly I think he'll be remembered as a pacifist who meant business," said Tom Hayden, a fellow '60s radical and member of the Chicago Seven who went on to become a California legislator.
"His pacifism was very forceful. He didn't mind interjecting himself between armed federal marshalls and someone they were pushing around."
At the Chicago Seven trial in 1969 and 1970, Dellinger and four co-defendants - Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, and Rennie Davis - were convicted of conspiracy to incit a riot at the 1968 convention. Those convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.
Greg Guma, editor of the political magazine Toward Freedom, called Dellinger "one of the major figures in terms of peace and social justice of the last half century."
Born in Wakefield, Mass., in 1915, Dellinger studied economics at Yale, spent a year at Oxford University in England and studied for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary. He wrote several books, the most recent, "From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter," published in 1993.
Dellinger fought for unions in the 1930s despite being called a communist, and walked with civil rights leaders in the South in the 1950s and '60s, despite the risk of violence.
Just three years ago, at age 85, Dellinger got up at 2:45 a.m. at his home in Montipelier and hitched a ride to demonstrates in Quebec City against the creation of a free-trade zone in the Western Hemisphere.
"Three percent of the richest people in the world control more wealth than 49 underdeveloped countries," he said. The trade agreement "is going to extned that kind of system." On 27 May 2004.