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Burnett, Alfred (02 November 1824–04 April 1884), entertainer and journalist, was born in Bungay, Suffolk, England. The names of his parents and other facts about his early life are unknown. In 1828 he was sent to live with an aunt in New York City. After four years of schooling in Utica, New York, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1836. He later became proprietor of a confectionery business and by 1860 owned three such establishments....

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Coffin, Charles Carleton (26 July 1823–02 March 1896), novelist, journalist, and lecturer, was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, the son of Thomas Coffin and Hannah Kilburn, farmers. He grew up on the family farm, attended the village school, and studied for a year at the local academy. Coffin, after his marriage to Sallie Russell Farmer in 1846, earned his living by farming and surveying, a skill he had taught himself. The couple had no children. In 1852, with his brother-in-law ...

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Ende, Amalie von (19 June 1856–25 August 1932), German-American writer, musician, and teacher, was born Amalie Kremper in Warsaw, Poland. The names of her parents are not known. Neither of her parents was native to Poland, but they became entangled in the Polish rebellions of the early 1860s and were forced to leave Poland. At age six von Ende arrived in Milwaukee, where she received early training in music. A student of the German-American writer and activist ...

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Fine, Benjamin (01 September 1905–16 May 1975), educational author, editor, and lecturer and school administrator, was born in New York City but was raised on a farm in Attleboro, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Fine and Rebecca Goldin, farmers. From his early youth Fine was rigorously active and would remain so for the rest of his life. He walked miles to get the school bus (good for later story enhancement), milked the cows, and did the farm chores, thus confirming philosopher ...

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Channing Pollock Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1934. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 932 P&P).

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Pollock, Channing (04 March 1880–17 August 1946), playwright, journalist, and lecturer, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Alexander Lyon Pollock, an employee of the U.S. Weather Bureau, and Verona Larkin. Pollock’s early schooling took place in Omaha and Salt Lake City, where his father worked as a newspaper editor and publisher. He also went to the Untergymnasium in Prague, while visiting his father’s relatives, the elder Pollock having emigrated in the 1870s from Austria. He had tutors in San Salvador, where his father served as U.S. consul, dying of yellow fever. Enrolled in Bethel Military Academy, Warrenton, Virginia, he grew impatient to work as a writer. Already at school at eight, he had written and acted in ...

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Rukeyser, Merryle Stanley (03 January 1897–21 December 1988), financial columnist and lecturer, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Isaac Rukeyser and Pauline Solomon. Rukeyser grew up in Manhattan, New York, and graduated from Townsend Harris High School at the age of sixteen. He began his newspaper career at the age of seventeen while attending Columbia University. During the summers of 1914 and 1915, he worked as a reporter for the ...