Joel E. Spingarn was born May 17, 1875 in New York City. He received a doctorate from Columbia University. He was a professor at Columbia but left academic life in 1911. He was a poet, editor and critic as well as a social reformer. He was an early member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and he established the Spingarn Medal. He served as NAACP president in the 1930's. He died July 26, 1939. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: http://scrc.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/Joel E. Spingarn.