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While cultural critics today question the economic value of a college education, nearly 150 years ago a radical tailor in Boston never doubted it. Rather, this Rhode Island native, son of a Revolutionary War Hero, and a man who did not graduate from high school, carefully accumulated a fortune and then gave it away−founding a women’s college that would ensure the “fairer sex’s” ability to enjoy an independent livelihood. John Simmons: The Measure of a Man is an engaging biography of the foresighted early adopter of ready-to-wear clothing, a discrete Yankee, whose legacy, Simmons College in Boston, has produced over sixty thousand graduates: leaders in health care, social work, library science and business administration.

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john simmons