So how did someone who left school at 13 end up at Harvard? The answer is Adult Education and, specifically, the WEA. As its legacy is being so casually discarded today, it is apt to reflect on Woodruff's achievement and remember the person who was his early mentor, "his grandmother Bridget, who loved books and encouraged him to do the same".
"She was very talented, and look where it got her," he would say. "She ended up in the Blackburn workhouse."We must never take our privileges for granted, nor forget the wasted talent of those who were never able to fulfil it. It's time to fight back.