Mary Morello, born in born and raised in Marseilles, a mining and farming town in north-central Illinois in 1924, founder of Parents For Rock And Rap (1987), an anti-censorship group. She is sometimes referred to as Tipper Gore's nemesis in the '80s battles over music censorship.
In 1954 she earned her masters degree in African and Latin American history from Chicago's's Loyola University. The rest of the decade she spent in Germany, Spain and Japan teaching English. She circled the globe on a freighter.
From 1960–1963 she lived in Kenya, where she met the Kenyan Ngethe Njoroge whom she married. Her husband was a guerilla in the Mau Mau uprising (1950–1960) that freed Kenya from British rule (1963), a Kenyan revolutionary who later was the first Kenyan delegate to the United Nations. Her brother-in-law, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenya.
In 1964 they moved to Harlem, New York where they had her son Tom Morello, born May 30. Tom is known from the Geffen Records band Audioslave and as former band member of Rage Against The Machine and Lock Up.
In the 1960s Morello was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, NAACP, and worked for the Chicago Urban League for a long time.
Mary and her son moved to Libertyville, a small suburb north of Chicago,_Illinois in 1965.
In 1987 she quit her teaching job, after 22 years, and founded Parents For Rock And Rap.
In 1991 she and many others battled against legislation being proposed in Washington titled S.983, or "Pornography Victims Compensation Act." (Later retitled S.1521.) S.1521 was officially Dead-On-Arrival, because of grass-roots anti-censorship activism. June 24, 1996 she received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award in Arts and Entertainment for her work with Parents For Rock And Rap.
In the fall of 1991 she began a volunteer teaching job at the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in Waukegan,_Illinois. She has also been involved in the Cuba Coalition in Chicago, which works toward lifting the U.S. blockade against Cuba.
Also know for her debate (1999) on the incarceration of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of the 1982 shooting of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police officer, who some believe to be innocent, she stated: "When a cop is shot someone must be found guilty. As my son Tom says, '... all rational thinking goes out the window.' A cop being killed is no different than any other person being killed. They choose their profession."
She has made three trips to the Soviet Union, through Siberia and Mongolia.
Mary Morello is part Irish and Italian.
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