Famous 19th Century American Journalists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
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

Ida B. Wells
Famous As: Journalist
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 Jack London

Jack London
Famous As: Novelist & Journalist
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.

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 4 Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly
Famous As: Journalist
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.

 5 Bat Masterson

Bat Masterson
Famous As: Journalist, U.S. Army scout
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.

 6 Walter Lippmann

Walter Lippmann
Famous As: First to introduce the concept of Cold War
Birthdate: September 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 14, 1974

 7 H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken
Birthdate: September 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
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 Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 23, 1838
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Homer, Ohio, United States
Died: June 9, 1927

Victoria Woodhull was an American politician, suffragist, and writer who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement. She is credited with founding Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, America's first newspaper to be founded by a woman. Her life and career inspired the Broadway musical Onward Victoria. In 2001, she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 9 Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day
Famous As: Journalist, Social Activist
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 1980

 10 Henry Morton Stanley

Henry Morton Stanley
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: January 28, 1841
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denbigh
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.

 11 E. B. White

E. B. White
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Died: October 1, 1985

 12 Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce
Famous As: Journalist & Writer, soldier
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914

 13 William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison
Famous As: Journalist, Abolitionist
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.

 14 Rose Wilder Lane

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

 15 Pauline Pfeiffer

Pauline Pfeiffer
Famous As: Journalist & Second Wife of Ernest Hemingway
Birthdate: July 22, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Parkersburg, Iowa, U.S.
Died: October 1, 1951

 16 Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley
Famous As: Journalist
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. 

 17 Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg
Famous As: Writer & Editor
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.

 18 Weegee

Famous As: Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968

 19 John Reed

John Reed
Famous As: Journalist, Poet
Birthdate: October 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: October 17, 1920

 20 Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell
Famous As: Journalist, Radio Personality
Birthdate: April 7, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 20, 1972

 21 William Walker

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

 22 Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887

 23 James Thurber

James Thurber
Famous As: Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2, 1961

 24 Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Poet, Baseball player, Novelist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 1, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
Died: June 5, 1900

 25 Ida Tarbell

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

 26 Damon Runyon

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

 27 Margaret Fuller

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

 28 George Washington Williams

George Washington Williams
Famous As: Soldier, Historian, Diplomat, Writer, Minister, Politician, Journalist
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.

 29 Henry Adams

Henry Adams
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: February 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Died: March 27, 1918

Historian Henry Adams was part of the famous Adams political family of the U.S and a typical Boston Brahmin elite. His best-known work remains his posthumously published autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, which won a Pulitzer Prize. He also taught medieval history at Harvard.

 30 Djuna Barnes

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

 31 Joseph Mitchell

Joseph Mitchell
Famous As: Writer and journalist
Birthdate: July 27, 1908
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairmont, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 24, 1996

 32 Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Shadd
Famous As: Activist
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.

 33 Lothrop Stoddard

Lothrop Stoddard
Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Author, Journalist, Opinion journalist
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.

 34 James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell
Famous As: Poet, Diplomat, Essayist, Writer, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: February 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge
Died: August 12, 1891

 35 Henry Luce

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

 36 George S. Kaufman

George S. Kaufman
Famous As: Theatre director, Screenwriter, Journalist, Playwright, Bridge player, Writer
Birthdate: November 16, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Died: June 2, 1961

 37 David Walker

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

 38 Lewis Mumford

Lewis Mumford
Famous As: Architect, Historian of technology, Historian, Sociologist, Screenwriter, Literary critic, Philosopher, Journalist
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.

 39 James M. Cox

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

 40 Ben Hecht

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

 41 Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter
Famous As: Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980

 42 Caresse Crosby

Caresse Crosby
Famous As: Publisher, Writer, Socialite, Poet, Memoirist, Journalist
Birthdate: April 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1970

 43 Robert Benchley

Robert Benchley
Famous As: Humorist
Birthdate: October 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: September 21, 1945

 44 Bret Harte

Bret Harte
Famous As: Author & Poet
Birthdate: August 25, 1836
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, U.S.
Died: May 5, 1902

 45 Charles Dow

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

 46 Joel Chandler Harris

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

 47 Martin Delany

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

 48 Elijah Parish Lovejoy

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

 49 Henry Jarvis Raymond

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

 50 Friedrich List

Friedrich List
Famous As: Economist, University teacher, Journalist
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.