List of Atheist Activists and Educators - Atheist Activists and Educators

Atheist Activists and Educators

  • Clark Adams (1969–2007): Prominent American freethought leader and activist.
  • Jessica Ahlquist A Rhode Island teenager won a court battle to have a prayer banner removed from Cranston High School West and has that received a $40,000-plus scholarship from those who supported her efforts.
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali (born 1969): Dutch feminist and politician.
  • Natalie Angier (born 1958): Nonfiction writer and science journalist for The New York Times; 1991 winner of Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.
  • Dan Barker (born 1949): American atheist activist, current co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, alongside his wife, Annie Laurie Gaylor.
  • Walter Block (born 1941): Austrian School economist and neoliberal
  • Peter Brearey (1939–1998): British secularist, socialist and journalist, Editor of The Freethinker from 1993 until his death.
  • William Montgomery Brown (1855–1937): Episcopal bishop and Communist author.
  • Richard Carlile (1790–1843): English activist. He was an important agitator for the establishment of universal suffrage and freedom of the press in the United Kingdom.
  • Richard Carrier (born 1969): historian, philosopher, and atheist activist.
  • Chapman Cohen (1868–1954): English freethought writer and lecturer, and an editor of The Freethinker and president of the National Secular Society.
  • Richard Dawkins (born 1941): British biologist, author of The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain, The Ancestor's Tale, The Blind Watchmaker, The Extended Phenotype, River Out of Eden, and The Selfish Gene. Founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, a non–profit charitable organization that promotes critical thinking, science-based education, and evidence–based understanding of the world. Richard Dawkins has produced several documentaries, including Root of all Evil? and Enemies of Reason.
  • Margaret Downey (born 1950): an atheist activist who is a former President of Atheist Alliance International.
  • Matt Dillahunty is the president of the Atheist Community of Austin, the host of the live internet radio show "Non-Prophets Radio" and of the Austin Public-access television cable TV show The Atheist Experience. He is also the founder and contributor of the counter-apologetics encyclopedia Iron Chariots and its subsidiary sites.
  • Joseph Edamaruku (1934–2006): Indian journalist, author, leader in the rationalist movement, and winner of the International Atheist Award in 1979.
  • Sanal Edamaruku (born 1955): Indian rationalist, president of the Indian Rationalist Association.
  • Reginald Vaughn Finley, Sr. (born 1974): ("The Infidel Guy"): Internet radio host and Podcaster in Atlanta, Georgia, co-founder of the Atheist Network and founder of
  • David D. Friedman (born1945): capitalist writer.
  • Annie Laurie Gaylor (born 1955): co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and, with her husband Dan Barker, is the current co-president.
  • Emma Goldman (1869–1940): Lithuanian-born radical, known for her writings and speeches defending anarchist communism, feminism, and atheism.
  • Gora (1902–1975): Indian atheist leader, co-founder with his wife of the Atheist Centre in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Saraswathi Gora (1912–2006): Indian social activist, wife of Gora and leader of the Atheist Centre for many years, campaigning against untouchability and the caste system.
  • John William Gott (1866–1922): English trouser salesman and leader of the Freethought Socialist League, the last person in Britain to be sent to prison for blasphemy.
  • Che Guevara (1928–1967): Argentine Marxist revolutionary, politician and author.
  • E. Haldeman-Julius (1889–1951): American author, editor and publisher of the Little Blue Books series
  • Erkki Hartikainen (born 1942): is a Finnish atheist activist. He is the chairman of the Atheist Association of Finland (Suomen Ateistiyhdistys) and former chairman of the Union of Freethinkers of Finland (Vapaa-ajattelijoiden liitto), the biggest atheistic association in Finland.
  • George Holyoake (1817–1906): English secularist. Holyoake was the last person in England to be imprisoned (in 1842) for being an atheist. He coined the term "secularism" in 1846.
  • Ellen Johnson: President of American Atheists, 1995-2008.
  • Edwin Kagin (born 1940): lawyer, activist, founder of the Camp Quest secular summer camp, and American Atheists' Kentucky State Director.
  • Paul Kurtz (1925-2012): Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, best known for his prominent role in the United States humanist and skeptical communities.
  • Viktor Emanuel Lennstrand (1861–1895): leader of the Swedish Freethought movement in the 1880s and early 1890s.
  • Joseph Lewis (1889–1968): American freethinker and atheist, president of Freethinkers of America 1920–1968.
  • Barry McGowan (born 1961): Author of How to Separate Church & State. Long-time atheist activist and former President and Vice-President of Freethought organizations, he is the creator and webmaster of
  • Hemant Mehta (born c.1983): Author of I Sold My Soul on eBay, chair of the Secular Student Alliance and author of the blog
  • William L. Moore (1927–1963): Postal worker and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) member who staged lone protests against racial segregation. He was murdered on his final protest.
  • Maryam Namazie (born 1963): A human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster. Namazie has served as the executive director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees. She is spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain.
  • Michael Newdow (born 1953): American physician and attorney, who sued a school district on the grounds that its requirement that children recite the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, containing the words "under God", breached the separation-of-church-and-state provision in the establishment clause of the United States Constitution.
  • Michael Nugent (born 1961): Irish writer and activist, chairperson of Atheist Ireland.
  • Madalyn Murray O'Hair (1919–1995): founder of American Atheists, campaigner for the separation of church and state; filed the lawsuit that led the US Supreme Court to ban teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in public schools. Murdered September 1995.
  • Robert L. Park (born 1931): scientist, University of Maryland professor of physics, and author of Voodoo Science and Superstition.
  • Philip K. Paulson (1947–2006): American plaintiff in a series of law suits to remove a Christian cross from a prominent summit in the city of San Diego.
  • Herman Philipse (born 1951), professor of philosophy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands and University of Oxford, United Kingdom, writer of Atheistisch manifest & De onredelijkheid van religie
  • James Randi, (born 1928): magician, paranormal investigator, and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.
  • A. Philip Randolph, (1889–1979): African-American civil rights leader.
  • J. M. Robertson (1856–1933): Scottish journalist, advocate of rationalism and secularism, social reformer and Liberal Member of Parliament.
  • Terry Sanderson (born 1946): British secularist and gay rights activist, author and journalist, President of the National Secular Society since 2006.
  • Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966): Indian revolutionary freedom fighter, and Hindu nationalist leader.
  • Ellery Schempp (born 1940): American physicist and church-state separation activist.
  • Ariane Sherine (born 1980): English comedy writer and journalist. She created the UK version of the Atheist Bus Campaign, which ran in January 2009. She lives in London.
  • Charles Lee Smith (1887–1964): an atheist activist in the United States and an editor of the Truth Seeker until his death. He also founded the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. Smith was arrested twice in 1928 for selling atheist literature and for blasphemy. Since he refused to swear an oath to God on the Bible, he was not allowed to testify in his own defense.
  • Barbara Smoker (born 1923): British humanist activist and freethought advocate. Wrote the book Freethoughts: Atheism, Secularism, Humanism – Selected Egotistically from The Freethinker.
  • Polly Toynbee (born 1946): British journalist, columnist for The Guardian.
  • Nicolas Walter (1934–2000): British anarchist and atheist writer, speaker and activist."Mr Walter is a third-generation atheist, very proud that his grandparents, on both sides, shrugged off various forms of Protestantism. His father was W Grey Walter, the eminent neurologist, who often appeared on The Brains Trust. "He was a left-wing humanist and believed that science could solve everything." " Hunter Davies interviewing Walter, 'O come all ye faithless: Nicolas Walter, a militant atheist, sees no reason to celebrate Christmas. But he'll still be singing a carol or two', The Independent
  • Keith Porteous Wood (born 1948): Executive Director, formerly General Secretary, of the National Secular Society in the United Kingdom.

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