19th Century Media Personalities

From being a slave of a selected few to rising up as the most powerful medium, media has come a long way. And much credit for the same goes to the media personalities, TV presenters, journalists, editors, publishers and cartoonists who have taken it to great heights. 19th century witnessed an influx of great media personalities who created waves through their grit, determination and powerful willingness. They were a fearless bunch of people, who resolved to change the fate of media through their work. Talking about some of the greatest media personalities that lived during the 19th century, the first name that strikes the mind is that of Joseph Pulitzer. The man who also has an award to his name that is presented every year for outstanding contribution by a journalist, Pulitzer revived American journalism in the late 1800s. Did you know that Irish reporter Sir William Howard Russell was the first modern war correspondent? He covered the Crimean War and gave new meaning to war reporting. William Randolph Hearst started an intense newspaper war in New York which provoked real war in Cuba. Horace Greeley, the much famed editor of the 19th century, shaped public opinion for decades with her work. The list is long and comprises of several more renowned personalities who gave new meaning and a new definition to media. Check this section to know about the famous media personalities of the 19th century.

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.
4
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.
4
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.
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 3 Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling.
4
Famous As: Journalist, Poet & Novelist
Birthdate: December 30, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: January 18, 1936

English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist Rudyard Kipling is best remembered for his fiction work The Jungle Book. He was born in India and many of his works are inspired by his life in the country. He was one of the most popular English writers in the late 19th and early 20th century.

 4 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois.
4
Famous As: Civil Rights Activists
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois played an instrumental role in fighting for full civil rights for people of color around the world. A co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois also played an important role as the leader of the Niagara Movement.

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 5 Jack London

Jack London.
4
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.

 6 Joseph Pulitzer

Joseph Pulitzer.
3
Famous As: Journalist & Publisher
Birthdate: April 10, 1847
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Makó
Died: October 29, 1911

Joseph Pulitzer was a newspaper publisher who became a national figure in the Democratic Party after crusading against corruption and big business. Pulitzer is also credited with founding the Columbia School of Journalism. The world-renowned Pulitzer Prizes, which are awarded annually to reward excellence in various fields, are named in his honor.

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 7 Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly.
4
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.

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 8 Walter Lippmann

Walter Lippmann.
3
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

 9 Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day.
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: November 29, 1980

 10 H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken.
8
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.

 11 E. B. White

E. B. White.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Died: October 1, 1985

 12 Henry Morton Stanley

Henry Morton Stanley.
3
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.

 13 Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce.
3
Famous As: Journalist & Writer, soldier
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914

 14 Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg.
3
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: July 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: San Francisco, U.S.
Died: December 7, 1970

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg, whose works gave rise to the expression Rube Goldberg machines, had started as an engineer and designed sewer pipes. He later worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and eventually soared to fame with his cartoons depicting gadgets and the character Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts.

 15 Frank Morgan

Frank Morgan
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 18, 1949

 16 Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass.
0
Famous As: American orator
Birthdate: February 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Talbot County, Maryland, U.S
Died: February 20, 1895

Social reformer and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass was a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. Born into slavery, he had a difficult early life. Eventually, he managed to escape and dedicated the rest of his life to promoting the cause of abolition. He was a great orator and writer.

 17 Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull
4
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.

 18 E. C. Segar

E. C. Segar
2
Famous As: Comics artist, Screenwriter, Writer
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chester
Died: October 13, 1938

 19 Pauline Pfeiffer

Pauline Pfeiffer.
3
Famous As: Journalist & Second Wife of Ernest Hemingway
Birthdate: July 22, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Parkersburg, Iowa, U.S.
Died: October 1, 1951

 20 Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley.
3
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. 

 21 Charles Coughlin

Charles Coughlin
3
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: October 25, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada
Died: October 27, 1979

Charles Coughlin, or Father Coughlin, was a Roman Catholic “radio priest” and a pioneer of broadcasting sermons using radio as a medium. He established the Shrine of the Little Flower, and his magazine Social Justice was banned or violating the Espionage Act. He also penned several books.

 22 Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg.
3
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.

 23 Weegee

Weegee
3
Famous As: Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968

 24 Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell.
3
Famous As: Journalist, Radio Personality
Birthdate: April 7, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: February 20, 1972

 25 Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast.
3
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: September 27, 1840
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Landau
Died: December 7, 1902

Political caricaturist and cartoonist Thomas Nast was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. at age 6. He began his career as a draftsman at the Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and then worked for Harper’s Weekly and the New York Illustrated News. His creations include the Republican Party elephant.

 26 John Reed

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

 27 Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane
3
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Poet, Baseball player, Novelist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 1, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
Died: June 5, 1900

 28 Marcelo H. del Pilar

Marcelo H. del Pilar.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 30, 1850
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulakan, Bulacan, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died: July 4, 1896

Marcelo H. del Pilar was a Filipino lawyer, writer, freemason, and journalist. Along with Graciano López Jaena and José Rizal, Del Pilar became known in Spain as the leaders of the Reform Movement. He is considered the Father of Philippine Journalism for his 66 editorials and 150 essays. He is also regarded as the Father of Philippine Masonry.

 29 Emma Lazarus

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

 30 John Tenniel

John Tenniel
3
Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: February 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayswater, London, England
Died: February 25, 1914

 31 Banjo Paterson

Banjo Paterson.
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 17, 1864
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Orange
Died: February 5, 1941

Remembered for the legendary poems Waltzing Matilda and The Man from Snowy River, Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson was an Australian bush poet who depicted rural life through his works. Initially a law clerk and a journalist, he later adopted the pseudonym Banjo, which was his favorite horse’s name.

 32 Hal Roach

Hal Roach
5
Famous As: Film producer, Actor, Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: January 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 2, 1992

 33 James Thurber

James Thurber.
3
Famous As: Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2, 1961

 34 Harold Abrahams

Harold Abrahams
3
Famous As: Athletics competitor, Sprinter, Lawyer, Journalist
Birthdate: December 15, 1899
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bedford
Died: January 14, 1978

English track and field athlete is best remembered for his gold medal win in the 100m race at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Part of the Achilles Club, he and his exploits inspired the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Following his retirement, he became a broadcaster and sports administrator.

 35 Mihai Eminescu

Mihai Eminescu
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 15, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Botoșani, Romania
Died: June 15, 1889

 36 Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller.
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, U.S
Died: July 19, 1850

 37 Damon Runyon

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

 38 Karl Polanyi

Karl Polanyi
3
Famous As: Economist, Anthropologist, Economic historian, Historian, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: April 23, 1964

 39 Mary Ann Shadd

Mary Ann Shadd
3
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.

 40 Henry Adams

Henry Adams.
3
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.

 41 William Walker

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

 42 Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 27, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: March 9, 1895

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch lent his name to the term masochism, a form of sexual deviation. Best known for his novel Venus in Furs, one of his rare books that have been translated in English, he depicted Galician romance and fantasies. He spent his final years in a mental asylum.

 43 Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau
3
Famous As: Linguist, Journalist, Economist, Historian, Translator, Writer, Sociologist, Essayist, Feminist
Birthdate: June 12, 1802
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norwich
Died: June 27, 1876

Regarded by many as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau was a prominent 19th-century social theorist, classical economist, and intellectual who penned the iconic work The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. She was partially deaf and had lost her sense of taste and smell in childhood.

 44 Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard
3
Famous As: Journalist, Philosopher, Publisher, Writer
Birthdate: June 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloomington
Died: May 7, 1915

 45 Lothrop Stoddard

Lothrop Stoddard
3
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.

 46 Raymond Poincaré

Raymond Poincaré
3
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Journalist
Birthdate: August 20, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bar-le-Duc
Died: October 15, 1934

Former French president and three-time prime minister Raymond Poincaré was a qualified lawyer and the co-founder of the Democratic Republican Alliance. He suggested a retrial in the Dreyfus Affair and was also largely responsible for France’s entry into World War II. He also introduced a highly debated denaturalization law.

 47 James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell
3
Famous As: Poet, Diplomat, Essayist, Writer, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: February 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge
Died: August 12, 1891

 48 Henry Luce

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

 49 Otto Strasser

Otto Strasser
3
Famous As: Journalist, Politician, Writer
Birthdate: September 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim
Died: August 27, 1974

 50 Carlo Collodi

Carlo Collodi
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: October 26, 1890

Carlo Collodi was an Italian journalist, author, and humorist. He is best remembered for his popular children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. The novel and its title character Pinocchio achieved international recognition when Disney adapted it into an animated musical fantasy film titled Pinocchio; the film went on to become one of the greatest films ever produced by Disney.