Born: May 14, 1752, North­amp­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: Jan­u­a­ry 11, 1817, New Ha­ven, Con­nec­ti­cut.

Buried: Grove Street Ce­me­te­ry, New Haven, Con­nec­ti­cut.


Dwight was a man for all sea­sons: An or­dained Con­gre­ga­tion­al min­is­ter, grand­son of preach­er Jon­a­than Ed­wards, per­son­al friend of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent George Wash­ington, and Ar­my chap­lain.

He be­gan read­ing the Bible at age four, and se­cret­ly learned La­tin des­pite his fa­ther’s pro­hi­bi­tion.

In 1785, he pub­lished the 11-vol­ume Con­quest of Ca­naan. In 1787, he re­ceived a Doc­tor of Di­vi­ni­ty de­gree from Prince­ton Un­i­ver­si­ty.

In 1795, he be­came pre­si­dent of Yale Un­i­ver­si­ty (where, like his grand­fa­ther Jon­at­han Ed­wards, he ma­tri­cu­lat­ed at age 13).

He helped found the An­do­ver The­o­lo­gic­al Se­mi­na­ry—the first se­mi­na­ry in New Eng­landin 1809.

Dwight’s ac­comp­lish­ments are amaz­ing con­sid­er­ing his me­di­cal han­di­cap. A small­pox ino­cu­la­tion ac­tu­al­ly gave him the di­sease, and af­fect­ed his sight. For al­most four de­cades, he could read on­ly 15 min­utes at a time, and was plagued by con­stant, ag­o­niz­ing pain at the back of his eyes.

He ev­ent­u­al­ly died of can­cer af­ter serv­ing as pre­si­dent of Yale for 22 years.