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Father Edward Flanagan
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Religious Figure
    (July 13, 1886-May 15, 1948)
    Founder of the orphanage (now center for troubled youth), Father Edward Flanagan's Boys' Home in Omaha, Nebraska (December 12, 1917)
    Later moved to Overlook Farm, 10 miles west of Omaha (October 22, 1921)
    Renamed to Boys Town (February 14, 1926)
    Died of a heart attack at age 61
    His facial features were cartoonish.
    He emigrated to the U.S. when he was 18, but developed pneumonia and was sent home from the seminary where he was in training two years later.
    He went to Rome in 1907 to complete his training, but sent home again after 4 months because of a respiratory ailment.
    He opened his first home to 5 boys sent by the court system with a $90 deposit he had to borrow.
    Since there was no federal or state funding for his orphanage, he did a lot of begging and borrowing to keep his vision going.
    He is famous for saying: 'There are no bad boys' (so I guess you really gotta watch those girls).
    Girls were finally allowed in the youth center in 1979 (62 years after formation).
    Then it took 21 more years to change the name to reflect both genders (Girls and Boys Town - August 24, 2000).
    On his third attempt in Innsbruck, Austria, he was finally ordained as a priest (July 26, 1912).
    In 1919, he became a citizen of the United States.
    When his orphanage grew from 5 to 50 boys he was forced to turn some away.
    This caused a stir and donations increased to the point he was able to move to a farm in Nebraska that could accommodate hundreds of boys.
    In 1938, the movie 'Boys Town,' starring Spencer Tracy as Father Flanagan, hit the movie theatres and was a huge success.
    Tracy won the Oscar for Best Actor and donations came pouring in.
    In 1947, he toured Japan and Korea, then discussed plans to aid WW II war orphans with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and President Harry Truman.
    Upon his death he was interred on the grounds of Boys Town, where President Truman layed a wreath.
    Though headed by priests (4 to date), Girls and Boys Town is self-governing and non-denominational.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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