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Ballou, Maturin Murray (14 April 1820–27 March 1895), writer, editor, and publisher, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Rev. Hosea Ballou and Ruth Washburn. His father was a distinguished Universalist minister and the author of more than 100 books. Ballou attended Boston’s English High School and, as a teenager, contributed travel sketches and other pieces to his cousin ...

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L. Frank Baum. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103206).

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Baum, L. Frank (15 May 1856–06 May 1919), children's author, journalist, and playwright, children’s author, journalist, and playwright, was born Lyman Frank Baum in Chittenango, New York, the son of Benjamin Ward Baum, a cooper and sawyer who had made a fortune in Pennsylvania oil, and Cynthia Stanton. He grew up on the family estate, “Roselawn,” outside Syracuse, New York. Suffering from a congenitally weak heart, he was educated at home. A stay at Peekskill Military Academy beginning in 1868—which gave Baum a lifelong antipathy to academics and the military—ended less than two years later in his having a heart attack. Back home, he published a family newspaper and periodicals on stamp collecting and the breeding of fancy chickens. In 1881 he studied theater in New York City and joined a repertory company, then managed an opera house in Richburg, New York, from 1881 to 1882, and, with his father’s financing, toured successfully with ...

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Benét, William Rose (02 February 1886–04 May 1950), poet and editor, was born in Fort Hamilton, New York, the son of James Walker Benét, an army ordnance officer, and Frances Neill Rose. He attended the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University, graduating in 1907. While at Yale, Benét edited the ...

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Bradford, Andrew (1686?–24 November 1742), printer and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Bradford, a printer and journalist, and Elizabeth Sowle, whose father, Andrew Sowle, was a printer in London. After being arrested and released for printing a pamphlet by Quaker apostate ...

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Buckingham, Joseph Tinker (21 December 1779–11 April 1861), editor and publisher, was born in Windham, Connecticut, the son of Nehemiah Tinker and Mary Huntington, tavernkeepers. For reasons that remain obscure, he was baptized “Joseph Buckingham” after his maternal grandmother but in 1804 legally made “Tinker” his middle name. Although Buckingham faced early poverty, owing to the death of his father in 1783 and to lingering revolutionary war debts against the estate, he acquired a scant but serviceable education. He occasionally attended the local district school while his mother unsuccessfully struggled to keep the tavern and to support the family as a seamstress. He received his principal instruction, however, from her. After the winter of 1785–1786, during which the family had to rely on charity, Buckingham was indentured by the overseers of the poor to a farmer on the outskirts of town. He tried to get to the village school, but, according to his own calculations, only managed to do so from about twelve days to a few months a year. He attributed most of his education in this period to self-study and to the encouragement given to devotional reading by the farmer’s family, who like his mother, stressed the fundamentals of Congregationalism....

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Cowles, Gardner, Jr. (31 January 1903–08 July 1985), publisher and media executive, was born in Algona, Iowa, the son of Gardner Cowles, a banker, and Florence Call. In 1903 the senior Cowles bought the Des Moines Register and Leader, which within a few years after his acquisition of the ...

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Cyrus H. K. Curtis. Leaving the White House. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100909).

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Curtis, Cyrus H. K. (18 June 1850–07 June 1933), publisher, was born Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis in Portland, Maine, the son of Cyrus Libby Curtis, a salesman, and Salome Ann Cummings. Forced by economic necessity to leave school after completing the ninth grade, Curtis often recalled that he began his publishing career as a newsboy for the ...

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Donahoe, Patrick (17 March 1811–18 March 1901), editor and publisher, was born in County Caven, Ireland, the son of Terrence Donahoe and Jane Christy. The father’s occupation is unknown, but the family was clearly poor. In 1821 Patrick and his father immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, where the boy received a basic education and entered the printing trades in 1825. Patrick worked as a printer for several Boston newspapers and became co-owner of ...

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Funk, Isaac Kauffman (10 September 1839–04 April 1912), publisher and reformer, was born near Clifton, Ohio, the son of John Funk and Martha Kauffman, farmers. Funk graduated from Wittenberg College in 1860 and from its theological seminary the following year. He subsequently held pastorates at Lutheran churches near Moreshill, Indiana, and in Carey, Ohio, before moving to St. Matthews’ English Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York, where he remained the longest. In 1863 he married Eliza Thompson; they had two children. The year after his wife’s death in 1868 he married her sister, Helen G. Thompson. The couple had one son....

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Garreau, Armand (13 September 1817–28 March 1865), Romantic writer, journalist, and educator, was born Louis-Armand Garreau in Cognac, France, the son of Louis-Armand Garreau, a lawyer and veteran of the Napoleonic wars, and Marie Rose Dumontet, a native of Saint-Pierre, Martinique. Apparently Garreau left home at a very early age to receive a classical education in Paris at the Lycée Henri IV. Financial difficulties prevented him from completing law school, but before he left Paris to take up a teaching position in the department of Gironde he encountered a New Orleanian who impressed him with talk of opportunity in Louisiana....

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Godkin, Edwin Lawrence (02 October 1831–21 May 1902), magazine and newspaper writer and editor, was born in Moyne, near Dublin, Ireland, of English heritage, the son of James Godkin, a minister, and Sarah Lawrence. In 1851 Godkin took his degree from Queen’s College, Belfast, where he had been introduced to the Utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham and, in general, acquired a liberal, upper middle-class, socially conscious education. “John Stuart Mill was our prophet,” Godkin recalled, “and [George] Grote and Bentham were our daily food” ( ...

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Godwin, Parke (25 February 1816–07 January 1904), journalist and editor, was born in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Abraham Godwin, a manufacturer and merchant, and Martha Parke. After graduating from Princeton in 1834, he returned to Paterson to study law. He lived briefly in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was admitted to the bar, but before establishing a practice, he moved to New York City. There he met ...

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Graebner, Theodore Conrad (23 November 1876–14 November 1950), pastor, editor, and author, was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, the son of August L. Graebner, a professor at Northwestern College, and Anna Schaller. After prepatory training at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, he graduated from Concordia College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in 1894. He studied for the Lutheran ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1897. After teaching German and history at Walther College in St. Louis from 1897 to 1900, he accepted a position as instructor of biology and English at the Lutheran Ladies’ Seminary in Red Wing, Minnesota. He married Selma Brohm in 1900; they had five children. He taught at the seminary from 1900 to 1906 and was ordained there on 25 May 1902 in the Norwegian Lutheran church....

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Hackett, Francis (21 January 1883–25 April 1962), editor and writer, was born in City Kilkenny, Ireland, the son of John Byrne Hackett, a physician, and Bridget Doheny. Francis Hackett’s youth was shaped in part by sociocultural conflicts within the family (between the Hacketts’ education and social identity and those of the more provincial and less educated Dohenys), conflicts between Dr. Hackett’s fervent Parnellism and the anti-Parnellites (those in Kilkenny, Clongowes Wood, and other Irish settings who opposed the nationalism of Charles Steward Parnell on pro-British or other political grounds and those who joined some Roman Catholic clergy in morally condemning Parnell’s connection to Kitty O’Shea and thus Parnell), and Francis’s rejection of Roman Catholicism and British imperialism. Frustrated because his family could not afford to pay for a postsecondary education, daunted by the prospect of becoming a clerk in the local bank for the rest of his life, hostile to both British and Roman Catholic influence in Ireland, Hackett decided, as had his brother Eddie Byrne Hackett and other relatives before him, to find a career in America. Hackett arrived in New York on 6 October 1901, well prepared for professional success in urban America. Educated by the Jesuits at the secondary level at Clongowes Wood College from 1897 to 1900, he was also widely read in British and American literature and qualified to write literary essays....

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Harvey, George Brinton McClellan (16 February 1864–20 August 1928), editor, publisher, and diplomat, was born in Peacham, Vermont, the son of Duncan Harvey, a country store merchant, and Margaret Varnum. George Harvey did not attend college, but he did complete a traditional college preparatory curriculum at the local grammar school. Several faculty served as his first mentors and references and assisted in his placement to a position on the ...

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Hearst, William Randolph, Jr. (27 January 1908–14 May 1993), journalist and newspaper publisher, was born in New York City, the son of William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper magnate, and Millicent Willson, a chorus girl. A mediocre student, Hearst attended private schools on the East and West coasts, eventually settling at the Hitchcock Military Academy in San Rafael, California. Hating both discipline and study, Hearst attended the University of California, Berkeley, in 1925. As a liberal arts major he failed to find a focus and left the college halfway through his sophomore year without a degree....

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Hill, Daniel Harvey (12 July 1821–24 September 1889), soldier, educator, and editor, was born at Hill’s Iron Works, York District, South Carolina, the son of Solomon Hill, a farmer, and Nancy Cabeen. Signally influenced by the military and religious traditions of his forebears, Hill was descended from Scotch-Irish and Scottish Presbyterians who had settled in the Carolina upcountry before the American Revolution. Both grandfathers had fought with distinction under General ...

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Holbrook, James (1812–28 April 1864), postal official and journalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of unknown parents. Holbrook grew up in Boston, where he was apprenticed to a printer. In 1833, he moved to Connecticut, where he worked as a newspaper editor and in that year married Mary Baker Tyler. He and Tyler had four children. He edited the ...