Famous 19th Century American Journalists

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Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century American Journalists

 1 
William Randolph Hearst
(Newspaper Baron)

William Randolph Hearst
4
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 2 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)

Ida B. Wells
7
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 3 
Walt Whitman
(One of the Most Influential Poets in the American Canon, Regarded as the 'Father of Free Verse')

Walt Whitman
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Hills, New York, United States
Died: March 26, 1892

Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist. Also a humanist, Whitman played a crucial role in the shift between transcendentalism and realism. Often referred to as the father of free verse, Whitman is one of the most influential American poets of all time. Several decades after his death, Walt Whitman's poetry remains influential.

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 4 
Jack London
(Novelist & Journalist)

Jack London
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: November 22, 1916

Jack London was an American novelist, social activist, and journalist. A pioneer of American magazines and commercial fiction, London was one of the first authors from the US to become an international celebrity. His life and work inspired several films, such as the 1943 movie Jack London and 1980 film Klondike Fever. He was also portrayed in several TV series.

 5 
Nellie Bly
(Journalist and Writer Known for Her Record-Breaking Trip Around the World in 72 Days)

Nellie Bly
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cochrans Mills, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 1922

Nellie Bly was an American industrialist, journalist, inventor, and charity worker. She is remembered for her circumnavigation of the world in 72 days. She is also known for pioneering a new kind of investigative journalism as she worked undercover from within a mental institution to report on the institution. Nellie Bly’s life and work have inspired several works of art.

 6 
Bat Masterson
(Journalist, U.S. Army scout)

Bat Masterson
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1853
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Henryville, Canada
Died: October 25, 1921

Bat Masterson was a lawman and professional gambler known for his exploits in the late 19th and early 20th-century American Old West. He was known for his hunting skills and earned fame as a gunfighter. Later in his life, he became a reporter and columnist for The Morning Telegraph and gained popularity as a leading sports writer.

 7 
H. L. Mencken
(One of the Greatest and Most Influential American Literary Critic in the 1920s)

H. L. Mencken
5
Birthdate: September 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: January 29, 1956

H. L. Mencken was an American journalist, cultural critic, essayist, satirist, and scholar of American English. His reporting on the Scopes Trial earned him national recognition. The trial came to be known as the Scopes Monkey Trial as Mencken had nicknamed it Monkey Trial in accordance with his satirical reporting of the trial.

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 8 
Dorothy Day
(Journalist, Social Activist)

Dorothy Day
4
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 1980

 9 
Ambrose Bierce
(Journalist & Writer, soldier)

Ambrose Bierce
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914

 10 
William Lloyd Garrison
(Journalist, Abolitionist)

William Lloyd Garrison
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 24, 1879

William Lloyd Garrison was an American journalist, abolitionist, social reformer, and suffragist. He is best remembered for founding The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper, which was published from 1831 to 1865. He also co-founded the American Anti-Slavery Society which helped fight slavery in the United States. In the 1870s, William Lloyd Garrison was an important figure in the women's suffrage movement.

 11 
Rose Wilder Lane
(Journalists)

Rose Wilder Lane
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: De Smet, South Dakota, USA
Died: October 30, 1968

 12 
Pauline Pfeiffer
(Journalist & Second Wife of Ernest Hemingway)

Pauline Pfeiffer
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Parkersburg, Iowa, U.S.
Died: October 1, 1951

 13 
Horace Greeley
(Journalist)

Horace Greeley
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amherst, New Hampshire, United States
Died: November 29, 1872

Horace Greeley was an American publisher and newspaper editor. He is credited with founding the New-York Tribune, for which he also served as an editor. He is also credited with popularizing the New-York Tribune, which became the highest-circulating newspaper in America. Long active in politics, Greeley helped found the Republican Party in 1854. 

 14 
Carl Sandburg
(Writer & Editor)

Carl Sandburg
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Galesburg, Illinois, United States
Died: July 22, 1967

Carl Sandburg had begun working since age 11 and been employed in various odd jobs, such as a truck driver, a harvester, and a brickyard hand, before being part of the Illinois Infantry. The two-time Pulitzer-winning poet and biographer late also won a Grammy for his recording of Lincoln Portrait.

 15 
John Reed
(Journalist, Poet)

John Reed
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: October 17, 1920

 16 
Weegee
(Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist)

Weegee
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968

 17 
Walter Winchell
(Journalist, Radio Personality)

Walter Winchell
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 20, 1972

 18 
Stephen Crane
(Writer, Journalist, Poet, Baseball player, Novelist, Screenwriter)

Stephen Crane
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
Died: June 5, 1900

 19 
William Walker
(President)

William Walker
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 12, 1860

 20 
James Thurber
(Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright)

James Thurber
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2, 1961

 21 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)

Emma Lazarus
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887

 22 
Ida Tarbell
(Journalist)

Ida Tarbell
3
Birthdate: November 5, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hatch Hollow, Amity Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 6, 1944

 23 
George Washington Williams
(Soldier, Historian, Diplomat, Writer, Minister, Politician, Journalist)

George Washington Williams
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1849
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bedford
Died: August 2, 1891

A laborer’s son, George Washington Williams had been a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, when he was barely 14. He had then been a Baptist minister, a politician, a lecturer, a lawyer, and a journalist, but is best remembered for being the first to write about Black history.

 24 
Damon Runyon
(Writer)

Damon Runyon
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, Kansas, United States
Died: December 10, 1946

 25 
Margaret Fuller
(Journalist, Activist)

Margaret Fuller
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 19, 1850

 26 
Henry Morton Stanley
(Welsh-American Explorer Who Was Famous for His Exploration of Central Africa and His Search for Missionary David Livingstone)

Henry Morton Stanley
0
Birthdate: January 28, 1841
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denbigh, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: May 10, 1904

Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh-American explorer, journalist, colonial administrator, soldier, politician, and author. He is remembered for his exploration of central Africa and his search for the source of the River Nile. Stanley received an honorary title of knighthood in 1899. His life and career inspired the 1939 movie Stanley and Livingstone, where Stanley was played by Spencer Tracy.

 27 
Djuna Barnes
(Artist)

Djuna Barnes
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Storm King Mountain, New York, United States
Died: June 18, 1982

 28 
William Lyon Mackenzie
(1st Mayor of Toronto, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada (1851–1858))

William Lyon Mackenzie
5
Birthdate: March 12, 1795
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: August 28, 1861

Born in Scotland, William Lyon Mackenzie moved to Canada as a merchant but soon got involved in the country’s politics. He later stepped into journalism and launched his own newspaper, the Colonial Advocate. He spearheaded the Canadian Rebellion of 1837, a failed uprising against the Canadian government.

 29 
Joseph Mitchell
(Writer and journalist)

Joseph Mitchell
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1908
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairmont, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 24, 1996

 30 
Lewis Mumford
(Architect, Historian of technology, Historian, Sociologist, Screenwriter, Literary critic, Philosopher, Journalist)

Lewis Mumford
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1990

Lewis Mumford was an American sociologist, historian, literary critic, and philosopher of technology. He made significant contributions to American literary and cultural history, social philosophy, and the history of technology. His works also influenced a number of thinkers and authors like Jacques Ellul and Amory Lovins. Lewis Mumford also had a strong influence on American cellular biologist Barry Commoner.

 31 
Ben Hecht
(Screenwriter)

Ben Hecht
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: April 18, 1964

 32 
George S. Kaufman
(Theatre director, Screenwriter, Journalist, Playwright, Bridge player, Writer)

George S. Kaufman
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Died: June 2, 1961

 33 
Henry Luce
(Journalist, Publisher)

Henry Luce
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dengzhou
Died: February 28, 1967

 34 
David Walker
(Writer)

David Walker
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1796
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cape Fear, United States
Died: August 6, 1830

 35 
Lothrop Stoddard
(Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Author, Journalist, Opinion journalist)

Lothrop Stoddard
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brookline
Died: May 1, 1950

Twentieth-century American political scientist and historian Lothrop Stoddard was a Ku Klux Klan and believed in eugenics, a theory that promoted the superiority certain races based on genetics. His book The Revolt Against Civilization introduced neo-Nazi concepts. He also covered World War II as a journalist.

 36 
James M. Cox
(Politician)

James M. Cox
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1870
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jacksonburg, Ohio, U.S.
Died: July 15, 1957

 37 
Katherine Anne Porter
(Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist)

Katherine Anne Porter
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980

 38 
Robert Benchley
(Humorist)

Robert Benchley
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: September 21, 1945

 39 
Bret Harte
(Author & Poet)

Bret Harte
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1836
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, U.S.
Died: May 5, 1902

 40 
Caresse Crosby
(Publisher, Writer, Socialite, Poet, Memoirist, Journalist)

Caresse Crosby
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1970

 41 

Joel Chandler Harris
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1848
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Died: July 3, 1908

 42 
Lysander Spooner
(Lawyer, Journalist, Essayist, Philosopher)

Lysander Spooner
3
Birthdate: January 19, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Athol
Died: May 14, 1887

 43 
Martin Delany
(Journalist)

Martin Delany
3
Birthdate: May 6, 1812
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charles Town, Virginia, United States
Died: January 24, 1885

 44 
Charles Dow
(Journalist)

Charles Dow
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1851
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sterling, Connecticut, United States
Died: December 4, 1902

 45 
Mary Ann Shadd
(Activist)

Mary Ann Shadd
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1823
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Died: June 5, 1893

The first North American Black woman to publish a newspaper, USA-born Mary Ann Shadd was the founder of the Canadian newspaper, The Provincial Freeman. Concurrently serving as its anonymous editor and contributor, she also became one of the first women to pursue journalism in Canada. She was also one of the first Black women to earn a degree in law.

 46 

Elijah Parish Lovejoy
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1802
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Albion, Maine, United States
Died: November 7, 1837

 47 

Henry Jarvis Raymond
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Livingston County, New York, United States
Died: June 18, 1869

 48 
Francis P. Blair
(Journalist)

Francis P. Blair
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1791
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Abingdon, Virginia, United States
Died: October 18, 1876

 49 
Friedrich List
(Economist, University teacher, Journalist)

Friedrich List
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1789
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Reutlingen
Died: November 30, 1846

German-American economist Friedrich List is remembered as one of the pioneers of the historical school of economics. He supported tariffs on imported goods to help the domestic market. He is also known for his pamphlet Outlines of American Political Economy and his book The National System of Political Economy.

 50 
Frank Norris
(Journalist)

Frank Norris
2
Birthdate: March 5, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S
Died: October 25, 1902