Ira David Sankey: Methodist lay evangelist; born at Edinburgh, Lawrence County, Pa., [United States], Aug. 28, 1840; died in Brooklyn Aug. 14, 1908. He entered business at New Castle, Pa., 1855-71, and was active as choir-leader, Sunday-school superintendent, and president of the Young Men's Christian Association; met D. L. Moody in 1870 at the international convention of that body at Indianapolis. He joined Moody in 1871 at Chicago and for years was associated with him in joint revival work in the United States and abroad, his part being singing solos, conducting the singing of the assembly, composing "Gospel hymns," and rendering assistance in the inquiry-meetings. In later years he also lectured.
In 1903 he lost his eyesight. He compiled Gospel Hymns (1875-95), and Sacred Songs and Solos (London, 1873, and often), of which over 50,000,000 copies were sold; translations have been made into many languages. He composed also many popular songs, of which are "There were ninety and nine," and "When the mists have rolled away." He is author of My Life and the Story of the Gospel Hymns and of Sacred Songs and Solos (Philadelphia, 1907).
From The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge... New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1911.
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