- Profession: Monk, Activist and Scholar
- Lived: January 31, 1915–December 10, 1968 (Modern Era)
- Nationality: French-born American
- Known for: Pioneered interfaith dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual leaders
- Fun Fact: He converted to Catholicism when he was 23 after a lifetime of being uninterested in organized religion.
- Fun Fact: Merton's death was never well explained. The official cause of death was accidental electric shock from a short circuited fan, but there was a bleeding wound on his head that left some believing he was murdered.
- Fun Fact:
Thomas Merton was born on May 26, 1949 in Prades, France. He was baptized in the Church of England according to his father's wishes, but Merton had little interest in organized religion for most of his life. He attended a series of boarding schools in his youth and only began to have an interest in religion after visiting Rome. While in Rome he had been drawn to churches even though he did not participate, and it took him years to really begin exploring Catholicism. He was Confirmed in May 1939, but it took him years to find the order that was right for him.