Asa Jennings

Asa Kent Jennings (1877–1933) was a Methodist pastor from upstate New York and a member of the YMCA.[1] In 1904, while in his twenties, Jennings was struck down by Pott's disease, a type of tuberculosis which affects the spine. As a result of his tuberculosis, he stood not much taller than 5 foot and with a noticeable hunch back.[2] In 1922, he commanded the evacuation of 350,000 helpless refugees from the shores of Smyrna (today İzmir) in Turkey following the Great Fire of Smyrna.[3][4] For his work, Greece awarded Jennings its highest civilian honor, the Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, and the highest war honor, the medal of Military Merit.[5] In 1945, MGM Studios made a 10-minute short film based on the life of Asa Jennings.[6]


  1. ^ "Stitzer YMCA Center at Springfield College". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. ^ Lou Ureneck, The Great Fire: One man's mission to rescue victims of the 20th century's first genocide. Ecco, 2015. p18
  3. ^ "How Jennings rescued the Christians of Smyrna". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Jennings - One Man Changed Greece and Turkey Forever". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  5. ^ Doubly honored by Greece The New York Times, December 28, 1922.
  6. ^ "Strange Destiny (1945)". IMDb. Retrieved 27 March 2015.

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