Francis Greenwood Peabody was born on 4 December 1847 in Boston, Massachusetts, and died on 28 December 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the youngest child of Ephraim and Mary Jane Peabody. His father was a prominent Unitarian minister whose death in 1856 left the family in a difficult situation; they lived in a frugal manner and were aided financially by friends. Francis's sister Ellen married the president of Harvard University, Charles W. Eliot, and among his cousins was philosopher Francis Ellingwood Abbott. Francis attended the Dixwell school in Boston, then graduated from Harvard College (BA 1869), and the Harvard Divinity School (MA, STB 1872). During 1872–3, he studied in Germany with August Tholuck at the University of Halle. After returning to America, Peabody taught briefly at Antioch College in Ohio in 1873. He was ordained minister of First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 31 March 1874. Peabody remained there until 1879 when he resigned due to illness. In 1880 he became a lecturer of ethics and homiletics for the Harvard Divinity School, and then served as Parkman Professor of Theology from 1881 to 1886, preacher to the university from 1886 to 1906, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals from 1886 until his retirement in 1912, and Divinity School Dean from 1901 to 1906.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.