Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 8,1897. After the earthquake in 1906, her family moved to Chicago's south side. Into a place not as nice as the one in New York because her father, John, was out of work. When John Day got a new job as a sports editor for the Chicago newspaper, they moved to the north side in a better home. Dorothy won a scholarship to the University of Illinois in the fall of 1914 but was a reluctant scholar. Dropping out of college 2 years later, she moves to New York and became a reporter. She next worked for The Masses, a magazine that opposed the involvement in the European war. In November of 1917, Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the white house protesting women's exclusion from the electorate. The women were roughly handled and responded with a hunger strike, finally they were freed by presidential order.
In 1924, Dorothy Day began a four-year common-law marriage with Forster Bathroom, an English botanist. Forster found it hard to believe in god in a world of such cruelty. Together, they had a baby girl, born on March 3, 1927, named Tamar Theresa Day. She thought the birth of her child was a miracle. After Tamar's baptism, there was a permanent break with Batterham.
Dorothy Day started The Catholic worker, a newspaper that publicized Catholic social teaching and promoted steps to bring about the peaceful transformation of society. The first copies were handed out on May 1. She decided to sell the paper for one penny so that anyone could afford to buy it. Homeless people began to come to Day's home after reading the magazine. She began to put her principles into practice, her apartment was the seed of many houses of hospitality to come. By the wintertime, an apartment was rented with space for ten women, soon after a place was also available for men. The Catholic Worker became a national movement. By 1936 there were 33 Catholic worker houses acr