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
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 Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
Famous As: Writer
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).

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 4 Mark Twain

Mark Twain
Famous As: Writer
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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 5 Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling
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.

 6 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois
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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 7 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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 8 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Famous As: Novelist
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 Joseph Pulitzer

Joseph Pulitzer
Famous As: Journalist & Publisher
Birthdate: April 10, 1847
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Makรณ
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.

 10 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.

 11 Colette

Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 12 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.

 13 L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chittenango, New York, United States
Died: May 6, 1919

L. Frank Baum was an author remembered for writing children's books including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which inspired the 1902 Broadway musical and the 1939 live-action film of the same name. His works anticipated the invention of gadgets like TV that would be invented later. In 2013, Baum was made an inductee of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

 14 Jack Haley

Jack Haley
Famous As: Vaudevillian
Birthdate: August 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 6, 1979

 15 Ali Kemal

Ali Kemal
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fatih, Turkey
Died: November 6, 1922

 16 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

 17 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.

 18 Paul Joseph Watson

Paul Joseph Watson
Famous As: Radio host
Birthdate: May 24, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK

 19 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

 20 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.

 21 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

 22 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.

 23 Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
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.

 24 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

 25 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.

 26 Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg
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.

 27 Frank Morgan

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

 28 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

 29 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

 30 Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

 31 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. 

 32 Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 2, 1962

 33 E. C. Segar

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

 34 Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl
Famous As: Journalist
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.

 35 Marcelo H. del Pilar

Marcelo H. del Pilar
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.

 36 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.

 37 Weegee

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

 38 Charles Coughlin

Charles Coughlin
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.

 39 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

 40 Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast
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.

 41 John Reed

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

 42 Alfred Douglas

Alfred Douglas
Famous As: Poet
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.

 43 Eddie Cantor

Eddie Cantor
Famous As: comedian
Birthdate: January 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: October 10, 1964

 44 Spring Byington

Spring Byington
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 17, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: September 7, 1971

 45 William Walker

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

 46 Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: May 25, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Died: August 27, 1971

 47 Banjo Paterson

Banjo Paterson
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.

 48 Hal Roach

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

 49 Emma Lazarus

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

 50 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