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Abbott, Joseph Carter (15 July 1825–08 October 1881), senator and journalist, was born in Concord, New Hampshire, the son of Aaron Carter Abbott, a farmer and laborer, and Nancy Badger. After graduating in 1846 from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Abbott studied law. He began his practice in Concord in 1852, the year he became editor and proprietor of the ...

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Anthony, Henry Bowen (01 April 1815–02 September 1884), newspaper editor and U.S. senator, was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, the son of William Anthony, a cotton manufacturer, and Mary Kinnicutt Greene. Preparatory school in Providence preceded Anthony’s entrance into Brown University. He graduated in 1833, fifth in a class of twenty. His lifelong regard for literature and Brown University culminated in the bequest of an exceptional collection of poetry volumes....

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Solon Borland. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109949).

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Borland, Solon (08 August 1811–15 December 1864), editor, U.S. senator, and diplomat, was born in Suffolk, Virginia, the son of Thomas Wood Borland, a physician, and Harriet Godwin. His father was politically active, serving as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Nansemond County between 1815 and 1820. In 1831 Borland married Huldah Wright, with whom he had two children. Following in the medical footsteps of his father, he attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School during the academic year of 1833–1834. He then practiced medicine in Suffolk, but upon the death of his wife in 1836 Borland moved to Memphis, Tennessee. There he entered into a medical career with his brother, who was also a physician. In 1839 Borland married Eliza Hart, who died just a few months later. They had no children. By this time he had forsaken pills for politics, becoming the founding editor of the ...

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Bristow, Joseph Little (22 July 1861–14 July 1944), newspaper publisher and U.S. senator, was born in Wolfe County, Kentucky, the son of William Bristow, a farmer and Methodist circuit rider, and Savannah Little. After his mother’s death in 1868, Bristow lived with his grandparents, but in 1873 he was reunited with his father, who had been transferred by the denomination to Fredonia, Wilson County, Kansas. The younger Bristow returned to Kentucky at the age of fourteen to live with his grandfather and uncle. There he met Margaret Hester Hendrix. The couple married in 1879 and soon removed to Elk County, Kansas, where they purchased an eighty-acre farm and set up house in a one-room log cabin....

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Giles, William Branch (12 August 1762–04 December 1830), congressman, senator, and political writer, was born in Amelia County, Virginia, the son of William Giles and Ann Branch. He attended Hampden Sydney College, then the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), from which he graduated in 1781. He studied law under ...

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Glass, Carter (04 January 1858–28 May 1946), newspaperman and U.S. senator, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, the son of Robert Henry Glass, a newspaper publisher and editor, and Augusta Christian. Glass attended public and private schools until precarious family finances caused him to terminate his formal education at age fourteen and seek work as an apprentice printer. He rose to journeyman in two years, half the normal time, and subsequently worked as a compositor, pressman, and occasionally as a reporter for a number of newspapers, including the Petersburg ...

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Gruening, Ernest Henry (06 February 1887–26 June 1974), journalist and U.S. senator from Alaska, was born in New York City, the son of Emil Gruening, a physician, and Phebe Fridenberg. Educated in private schools in New York, New England, and Europe, Gruening entered Harvard College at age sixteen; he received an A.B. in 1907 and an M.D. in 1912. In 1914 he married Dorothy E. Smith, with whom he would have three children....

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Hanson, Alexander Contee (27 February 1786–23 April 1819), lawyer, newspaper editor, and U.S. representative and senator, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Alexander Contee Hanson, a jurist and legislator, and Rebecca Howard. After graduating from St. John’s College in 1802, he practiced law in Annapolis, married Priscilla Dorsey, the daughter of a prominent planter, in 1805, and established his home, “Belmont,” near Elkridge. The couple probably had six children, three of whom survived until adulthood. In 1808 he founded the ...

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Ingalls, John James (29 December 1833–16 August 1900), journalist, lawyer, and U.S. senator, was born in Middletown, Massachusetts, the son of Elias Theodore Ingalls, a businessman, and Eliza Chase. His father operated a shoe factory in Lynn, a town one of his ancestors helped found in 1629. Ingalls attended public school in Haverhill until he was sixteen then studied Latin with a tutor before enrolling at Williams College in 1851. After graduation in 1855 he read law with John J. Marsh for two years and was admitted to the Essex County bar in 1857....

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William F. Knowland Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114947).

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Knowland, William Fife (26 June 1908–23 February 1974), U.S. senator and newspaper publisher, was born in Alameda, California, the son of Joseph Russell Knowland, a congressman and newspaper publisher, and Ella Fife. Beginning his political life early, Knowland made his first speech at the age of twelve for presidential candidate ...

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McCormick, Medill (16 May 1877–25 February 1925), publisher and U.S. senator, was born Joseph Medill McCormick in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Robert Sanderson McCormick, a diplomat, and Katherine Van Etta Medill, the daughter of Chicago Tribune publisher Joseph Medill. After attending Ludgrove, just southwest of London, England, and Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts, Medill attended Yale University, from which he graduated in 1900. Heir apparent to the ...

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Neuberger, Richard Lewis (26 December 1912–09 March 1960), journalist and politician, was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Isaac Neuberger, a restaurant owner, and Ruth Lewis. He grew up in relatively comfortable circumstances within the small Jewish community in Portland and attended local schools, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1930. While covering sports for the school newspaper, he met Lair H. Gregory, sports editor for the ...

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Plumb, Preston B. (12 October 1837–20 December 1891), journalist, lawyer, and U.S. senator, was born in Berkshire, Delaware County, Ohio, the son of David Plumb, a wagon maker, and Hannah Maria Bierce. He was educated in the Berkshire and Marysville, Ohio, schools and at twelve enrolled in Kenyon College, where he took three years of preparatory studies and worked in the school’s print shop to pay for room, board, and tuition. At fifteen he apprenticed as a printer on the ...

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Ross, Edmund Gibson (07 December 1826–08 May 1907), journalist, U.S. senator, and politician, was born in Ashland, Ohio, the son of Sylvester F. Ross and Cynthia Rice, farmers. Apprenticed as a printer at the age of ten, he moved about as a journeyman printer, living at Sandusky, Ohio, Janesville, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, where he worked as a job printer, first at the ...

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Arthur H. Vandenberg. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-107881).

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Vandenberg, Arthur H. (22 March 1884–18 April 1951), journalist and U.S. senator, was born Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Alpha Hendrick and Aaron Vandenberg, a successful small-scale harness manufacturer. Young Arthur was obliged to go to work at the age of nine when his father’s business failed during the panic of 1893. Even so, Arthur graduated from high school in Grand Rapids and attended the Law School at the University of Michigan for the 1900–1901 school year....