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Franklin H. Sargent

President, American Academy of Dramatic Art

Centurion, 1910–1923

Full Name Franklin Haven Sargent

Born 31 March 1856 in Boston, Massachusetts

Died 28 August 1923 in Plattsburgh, New York

Buried Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Proposed by Ripley Hitchcock and Richard Watson Gilder

Elected 5 February 1910 at age fifty-three

Century Memorial

The unobtrusive work of Franklin Haven Sargent in his Academy of Dramatic Arts, during a period of nearly forty years, made its impress on the character and quality of the American stage. His school was a seriously conducted enterprise. It was cordially supported by such practical dramatists as Belasco, Frohman and Thomas. It graduated from its classes scores of well-trained actors; some of whom, such as Jane Cowl, Pedro de Cordoba, Doris Keane, Margaret Wycherly and Grant Mitchell, achieved eminence on the stage.

In his personality, Sargent was modest and unobtrusive; his thorough work as teacher was accompanied by a kindliness and genuineness of character that won the affection of his pupils. His early life had created a curiously interesting background for his later work. Under the auspices of his mother, a woman of exceptional tact and charm, the Sargents’ Chestnut Street home at Boston became a gathering-place in which might often be met the men and women whose names are American traditions—Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, James Freeman Clarke, Mary A. Livermore, Phillips Brooks, Bronson Alcott, Joseph Cook, Elizabeth Stewart Phelps, James T. Fields.

This was the kind of early contact and early training which shaped his character and personality. Yet his individual modesty was such that it needed the strong urgency of friends to induce him to apply after graduation for the place of Instructor in Elocution at Harvard. That was the beginning of his useful professional career, though yet he had himself protested that he was not fit for the work. It is a pleasing reminiscence, both of his unselfish work and of the scope of our government’s ideas for conducting its own participation in the Great War, that Sargent gave skilful and untiring work as chairman of the committee to provide plays and information regarding their production for the army concentration camps.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1924 Century Association Yearbook