Daniel A. Lord

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Daniel Aloysius Lord, S.J. (23 April 1888 – 15 January 1955) was a popular American Catholic writer. His most influential work was possibly in drafting the 1930 Production Code for motion pictures.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he graduated from Loyola University in 1909, then entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. From this point forward, he lived in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to receive an M.A. in Philosophy from St. Louis University. He was ordained as a priest in 1923.

Lord became national director of the Sodality of Our Lady in 1926, also serving as editor of its publication, The Queen's Work magazine. He stepped down from editorship in 1948, but continued to write for the magazine for the remainder of his life, producing more than 500 pamphlets, plays, and songs.

In 1927, he served as a consultant to Cecil B. DeMille for his silent film, King of Kings. The advent of talkies alarmed him. "Silent smut had been bad," he would write in his autobiography, Played by Ear. "Vocal smut cried to the censors for vengeance."

In 1929, he began work on the Production Code, a project envisioned by censor Martin Quigley, publisher of a Hollywood trade journal, and bolstered by Cardinal George Mundelein of the Archdiocese of Chicago. "Here was a chance to read morality and decency into mass recreation," Lord wrote. He aimed "to tie the Ten Commandments in with the newest and most widespread form of entertainment," aspiring to an ecumenical standard of decency, so that "the follower of any religion, or any man of decent feeling and conviction, would read it and instantly agree."

In 1930, Lord's draft of the Code was accepted by Will H. Hays and promulgated to the studios with only minor changes, but it lacked an enforcement mechanism, and Lord came to consider it a failure. It was only with the mid-1934 advent of the Production Code Administration headed by Joseph Breen that the Code became the law of Hollywood for more than 25 years.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Lord's writings touched on politics, seeking a Catholic middle ground between socialism and capitalism.

Bibliography (incomplete)[edit]

  • OUR NUNS: Their Varied and Vital Service for God and County (Benziger Brothes - Printers To The Holy Apostolic SEE, 1924)
  • I can read ANYTHING!? All right! - then read THIS! (The Queen's Work, 1932)


  • Religion and Leadership (The Bruce Publishing Co., 1933)
  • My Mother, The Study of an Uneventful Life (The Queen's Work, 1934)
  • "You can't live that way" (The Queen's Work, 1934)


  • Fashionable Sin - A Modern Discussion of an Unpopular Subject (The Queen's Work, 1934)


  • The Call to Catholic Action (The Queen's Work, 1935 )


  • Our Part in the Mystical body (The Queen's Work, 1935)
  • When Sorrow Comes - Reflections on the Problem of Pain and the Mystery of Suffering and Sorrow (The Queen's Work, 1935)


  • Confession is a joy? (The Queen's Work, 1935)


  • Flirto (in Esperanto)(The Flirt, pub. Heiloo, Netherlands, 1936)(Esperanta Katolika Brosxuroj-serio, N-ro 1)
  • Revolt against Heaven (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • Forever and Forever (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • They're Married! AKA Christian Marriage AKA Catholic Marriage (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • They found Success (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • Atheism doesn't make sense (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • Storm-Tossed: If Communists Had the Truth... or Catholics Had the Zeal... (The Queen's Work, 1936)
  • Christ the modern (The Queen's Work, 1936)


  • The Christmas Child (The Queen's Work, 1937)


  • Prayers Are Always Answered (The Queen's Work, 1938)


  • Are You Scrupulous? An Interview with Francis J. O'Boyle,S.J. (The Queen's Work, 1938)


  • The Invincible Standard - Life's Many Joys and Crosses (The Queen's Work, 1938)


  • These Are Our Martyrs (The Queen's Work, date unknown)


  • A Murder in the Sacristy" (The Queen's Work, 1940)
  • Red Arrows in the Night (The Queen's Work, 1943)
  • Our Lady in the Modern World (The Queen's Work, 1940)
  • That Made Me Smile: A Collection of Incidents That Have Amused Me "Along the Way" (The Queen's Work, 1941)
  • The Glorious Ten Commandments (The Queen's Work, 1944)
  • All American Girl: A True Story For Americans Who Should Know Her - Story of a young actress-to-be in Hollywood who chooses a life in a Carmelite convent (The Queen's Work, 1945)
  • His Passion Forever (Bruce, 1951)
  • Everynun, A Modern Morality Play (Eucharistic Crusade, 1952)
  • Joy for the World: A Musical Dramatic Presentation of Mary, Mother of God and Men in Scripture, History, and the Heart of Our Times (Knights of the Blessed Sacrament, 1954)
  • Played By Ear: The Autobiography of Daniel A. Lord, S. J. (Loyola University Press, 1955). ISBN 0-8294-0049-4

External links[edit]