Name: Ritter, Joseph Elmer
Born/Started: Jul. 20, 1892
Died/Ended: Jun. 10, 1967
Description: Joseph Cardinal Ritter was archbishop of the St. Louis archdiocese from 1946 to 1967. He is best known for his efforts to develop the Catholic education system in St. Louis, which is now the largest school system in the region. He also issued a directive that the Archdiocesan schools should be integrated in 1947, seven years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case ended school segregation nationally.
Ritter was ordained a priest in 1917 in Indianapolis. In 1933 he was appointed archbishop of Indianapolis. On July 20, 1946, he was appointed archbishop of the diocese of St. Louis and elevated to cardinal in 1961. His education policies brought co-education to DuBourg, Laboure, DeAndreis, Mercy High, Aquinas, and Rosary High Schools. He also appointed priests of different nationalities to once "German," "Irish," and "Italian" parishes.
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