19th Century Media Personalities

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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.
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 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 
Mark Twain
(Lauded as the 'Greatest Humorist' the United States Has Produced)
Mark Twain
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florida, Missouri, United States
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

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 4 
Rudyard Kipling
(Journalist, Poet & Novelist)
Rudyard Kipling
4
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.

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 5 
W. E. B. Du Bois
(Civil Rights Activists)
W. E. B. Du Bois
5
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.

 6 
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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 7 
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.

 8 
Fyodor Dostoevsky
(Best Known for His Novella Notes from The 'Underground')
Fyodor Dostoevsky
4
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 9, 1881
Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky is remembered as one of the pioneers of existentialism. He is best known for psychological and philosophical themes in his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot. He was arrested for being critical of Tsarist Russia and spent a 4-year prison term in Siberia.
 9 
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.

 10 
Joseph Pulitzer
(Journalist & Publisher)
Joseph Pulitzer
4
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.

 11 
Emile Zola
(French Novelist & Playwright Known for His Works 'Les Rougon-Macquart' and 'Thérèse Raquin')
Emile Zola
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1840
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 29, 1902

Emile Zola was a French novelist, journalist, and playwright. He played a key role in the development of theatrical naturalism and was a well-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism. He was also a political journalist and was influential in the political liberalization of France. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature twice.

 12 
Bat Masterson
(U.S. Army Scout, Lawman and Columnist for ‘The Morning Telegraph’)
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.

 13 
Jack Haley
(Vaudevillian)
Jack Haley
4
Birthdate: August 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 6, 1979
 14 
Ali Kemal
(Journalist)
Ali Kemal
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922
 15 
Edgar Allan Poe
(Writer and Poet - Widely Regarded as a Central Figure of Romanticism in the United States)
Edgar Allan Poe
0
Birthdate: January 19, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 7, 1849

American writer Edgar Allan Poe is regarded as the architect of modern short story, the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and a major contributor towards science fiction genre. The influential writer is recognised for his tales of mystery and macabre. His notable works include The Raven (poem), The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher (short stories).

 16 
Dorothy Day
(American Social Activist, Journalist, and Anarchist)
Dorothy Day
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 1980

Dorothy Day was an American social activist, journalist, and anarchist. She is best remembered for co-founding the Catholic Worker Movement along with French activist Peter Maurin. She also co-founded a newspaper called Catholic Worker and served as its editor between 1933 and 1980. In 2001, Dorothy Day was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 17 
Frank Morgan
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 18, 1949
 18 
H. L. Mencken
(One of the Greatest and Most Influential American Literary Critic in the 1920s)
H. L. Mencken
8
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.

 19 
Ambrose Bierce
(Journalist & Writer, soldier)
Ambrose Bierce
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914
 20 
Rube Goldberg
(Cartoonist)
Rube Goldberg
4
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.

 21 
Rose Wilder Lane
(Journalists)
Rose Wilder Lane
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: De Smet, South Dakota, USA
Died: October 30, 1968
 22 
William Lloyd Garrison
(Abolitionist, Journalist and Founder of the Anti-Slavery Newspaper ‘The Liberator’)
William Lloyd Garrison
3
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.

 23 
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
 24 
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. 

 25 
Theodor Herzl
(Journalist)
Theodor Herzl
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pest, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire
Died: July 3, 1904

Initially a budding lawyer, Theodor Herzl later deviated toward literature and also worked as a journalist. The anti-Semitism he witnessed in France, along with the Dreyfus affair, pushed him into Zionism. His will mentioned he wished for a no-frills funeral that would have no flowers or speeches.

 26 
Marcelo H. del Pilar
4
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.

 27 
E. C. Segar
(Comics artist, Screenwriter, Writer)
E. C. Segar
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chester
Died: October 13, 1938
 28 
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.

 29 
John Reed
(Journalist, Poet)
John Reed
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: October 17, 1920
 30 
Alfred Douglas
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Powick, Worcestershire, England
Died: March 20, 1945

Alfred Douglas was an English journalist and poet best remembered as one of the lovers of famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Douglas played an important role in Wilde's imprisonment for homosexuality. Alfred Douglas' father John Sholto Douglas abhorred his son's relationship with the Irish poet and publicly accused the latter of homosexuality, which was illegal at that time.

 31 
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
 32 
Eddie Cantor
(comedian)
Eddie Cantor
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: October 10, 1964
 33 
Weegee
(Photographer, Photojournalist, Journalist)
Weegee
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 26, 1968
 34 
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
 35 
William Walker
(President)
William Walker
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 12, 1860
 36 
Thomas Nast
(Cartoonist)
Thomas Nast
4
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.

 37 
Banjo Paterson
3
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.

 38 
Hal Roach
(Film producer, Actor, Film director, Screenwriter)
Hal Roach
5
Birthdate: January 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 2, 1992
 39 
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.

 40 
Spring Byington
3
Birthdate: October 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: September 7, 1971
 41 
Harold Abrahams
(Athletics competitor, Sprinter, Lawyer, Journalist)
Harold Abrahams
3
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.

 42 
Emma Lazarus
(Poet, Writer, Journalist)
Emma Lazarus
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 19, 1887
 43 
Vita Sackville-West
3
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 2, 1962
 44 
James Thurber
(Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright)
James Thurber
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2, 1961
 45 
Mihai Eminescu
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Botoșani, Romania
Died: June 15, 1889
 46 
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
 47 
Damon Runyon
(Writer)
Damon Runyon
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, Kansas, United States
Died: December 10, 1946
 48 
John Tenniel
(Illustrator)
John Tenniel
4
Birthdate: February 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayswater, London, England
Died: February 25, 1914
 49 
Margaret Fuller
(American Journalist, Critic, Editor, and Women's Rights Advocate)
Margaret Fuller
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 19, 1850

Margaret Fuller was an American journalist, critic, editor, women's rights advocate, and translator. She is best remembered for her association with the transcendentalism movement. Her 1843 book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is widely regarded as the first major feminist book in the USA. An advocate of women's rights, Margaret Fuller was the first female war correspondent in the USA.

 50 
Mathew Brady
(One of the Earliest Photographers in American History)
Mathew Brady
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warren County, New York, United States
Died: January 15, 1896

Mathew Brady was an American photographer who captured the American Civil War through his lenses. One of the earliest photographers in the history of the US, Brady is credited with taking pictures of prominent personalities like Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Andrew Jackson. Dubbed the father of photojournalism, Mathew Brady was the most renowned American photographer during the 19th century.