Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".
Born Julia Ward in New York City, she was the fourth of seven children born to Samuel Ward (May 1, 1786 – November 27, 1839) and Julia Rush Cutler. Among her siblings was Samuel Cutler Ward. Her father was a well-to-do banker. Her mother, granddaughter of William Greene (August 16, 1731 – November 30, 1809), Governor of Rhode Island and his wife Catharine Ray, died when Julia was five.
In 1843, she married Samuel Gridley Howe (1801 – 1876), a physician and reformer who founded the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. They announced their engagement quite suddenly on February 21; though Howe had courted Julia for a time, he had more recently shown an interest in her sister Louisa.