Irving S. Cooper

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Irving Cooper

Bishop Irving S. Cooper was an American lecturer for the Theosophical Society in America and a bishop in the Liberal Catholic Church.

Early years and personal life

Irving Steiger Cooper was born in Santa Barbara, California on March 16, 1882 to parents Augustus Steiger Cooper and Mary Felds Cooper. A brilliant student, he was awarded a degree from the University of California. In 1927 he married Susan L. Warfield.

Theosophical work

Soon after he completed his education, Cooper was introduced to Theosophy. "Early in his theosophical service he went to Adyar, and the story is told that having established himself in his own quarters, he presented himself one morning to Mr. C. W. Leadbeater with his typewriter and the announcement: 'Here I am. Set me to work.' And a competent, useful assistant he proved to be to his great friend and teacher, Mr. Leadbeater."

After returning to the United States, he became a National Lecturer who was much in demand. He wrote several books intended to introduce new seekers to the concepts of Theosophy.

Liberal Catholic Church

During a visit to Sydney, Australia, where he again met Leadbeater. There Cooper encountered the Liberal Catholic Church and was confirmed in the church.

A year later, on July 13, 1919 he was consecrated to the Episcopate and dedicated to the position of Regionary Bishop of the United States.

In 1920 in California he entered upon his work for the Liberal Catholic Church and during the following tow years traveled extensively throughout the United states, visiting parishes, establishing new congregations, and with the help of friends of the Church collected sufficient funds for the erection of the beautiful Pro-Cathedral in Hollywood which was dedicated in May, 1922, and will remain a beautiful monument in his memory.[1]

The Pro-Cathedral is also known as the Church of Saint Alban and the Angels. The parish was established in 1917 with Charles Hampton as the first rector. Bishop Cooper presided at the consecration of the new building on May 7th, 1922, before a crowd of over 400.[2]

Later years

Bishop Cooper died on January 17, 1935 of a blood clot following a major operation. A Requiem Eucharist was celebrated in the Pro-cathedral in Hollywood on Sunday, January 20.[3]


The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 90 articles by or about Irving Cooper. He also wrote several books:

  • Methods of Psychic Development.
  • Reincarnation, a Hope of the World. Krotona, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Cal. : Theosophical Publishing House (American Branch), 1920. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Pub. House, 1979. First Quest Books edition. At least eight editions in English, plus Hebrew.
  • The Secret of Happiness.
  • Theosophy simplified. Hollywood, Calif.: Theosophical Book Concern, 1915. Available at Hathitrust. At least seven more editions followed, including Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Press, 1948, which is available at Hathitrust.
  • Ways to Perfect Health.


  1. "Bishop Irving S. Cooper," The American Theosophist 23.1 (January, 1935), 27).
  2. "History" at St. Alban's website. Accessed on January 5, 2016.
  3. "Bishop Irving S. Cooper," The American Theosophist 23.1 (January, 1935), 27).