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Adams, Franklin P. (15 November 1881–23 March 1960), newspaper columnist, humorist, and radio personality, was born Franklin Pierce Adams in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Moses Adams, a dry-goods merchant, and Clara Schlossberg, both German-Jewish immigrants. During his childhood he was an avid reader of the classics, history, nineteenth-century fiction, and light verse. He studied mathematics and science at the Armour Scientific Academy in Chicago, graduating in 1899. He attended the University of Michigan for less than a year, during which he studied literature and after which he began to earn his own living....

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Beatty, Bessie (27 January 1886–06 April 1947), radio broadcaster, journalist, and author, was born Elizabeth M. Beatty in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Thomas Edward Beatty and Jane Mary Boxwell. Her parents had immigrated from Ireland to the Midwest and then to Los Angeles, where Thomas Beatty became a director of the first electric street railroad in the city. In 1903 Bessie Beatty matriculated at the Highland Park campus of Occidental College, determined to be a writer. She was active in campus literary societies and wrote several articles for student publications before taking a position in her senior year as a reporter for the ...

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Joyce Brothers. Dr. Joyce Brothers, half-length portrait, facing slightly left, holding a book she wrote, 1957. Photographic print by Phyllis Twacht. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-117953).

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Brothers, Joyce (20 October 1927–13 May 2013), psychologist, television and radio personality, and columnist, was born Joyce Diane Bauer in Brooklyn, New York, to Morris K. Bauer and Estelle Rappaport Bauer, a Jewish couple who shared a law practice. She and sister, Elaine, were raised in Queens, where Joyce was an honors student at Far Rockaway High School....

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Boake Carter. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Carter, Boake (28 September 1898–16 November 1944), broadcast journalist, was born Harold Thomas Henry Carter in Baku, then part of Russia (now the capital of Azerbaijan), the son of Thomas Carter, an oilman and British consul in that city, and Edith Harwood-Yarred Carter. He was educated at boarding schools in England and then spent a brief interval at Cambridge University, where he wrote for a student newspaper. Carter was impatient to enter the oil business with his father, and while making preparations to do so he worked as a stringer for the ...

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Clapper, Raymond Lewis (30 May 1892–01 February 1944), journalist and radio commentator, was born near La Cygne, Kansas, the son of John William Clapper and Julia Crowe, farmers. Shortly after his birth Clapper’s family moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where his father worked in packinghouse factories. His parents, hardworking but poor, showed little interest in books, politics, or the world outside their strict, religious home life, which was supplemented only by regular attendance at the Baptist church. Through grade school Clapper avidly read newspapers, including the ...

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Cooke, Alistair (20 November 1908–30 March 2004), journalist, was born Alfred Cooke in Salford, a suburb of Manchester, England, to Samuel Cooke, an iron fitter, insurance salesman, and Methodist lay preacher, and Mary Byrne Cooke. His lifelong interest in America began during World War I, when he became “fascinated” by seven American soldiers billeted in his family's home in Blackpool on Britain's northwest coast (Stewart, p. 5). While at Cambridge University in 1930 he took the name “Alistair,” edited ...

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Alistair Cooke in his home in New York City, 12 October 1972. Associated Press

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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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Cronkite, Walter Leland, Jr. (04 November 1916–17 July 2009), broadcast journalist, was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the son of Walter Leland Cronkite, a dentist, and Helen Fritsche Cronkite. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Kansas City. When he was ten years old his father accepted a position with a dental college in Houston, Texas....

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Walter Cronkite anchors his last CBS election night special in New York City, 4 November 1980. Associated Press

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Davis, Elmer (13 January 1890–18 May 1958), author, journalist, and radio commentator, was born Elmer Holmes Davis in Aurora, Indiana, the son of Elam H. Davis, a cashier for the First National Bank of Aurora, and Louise Severin, principal at the local high school. Described by a childhood friend as an avid reader, Davis began his long career with newspapers the summer after his freshman year in high school by obtaining a job as a printer’s devil for the ...

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Eisler, Gerhart (20 February 1897–21 March 1968), Communist journalist and politician, was born in Leipzig, Germany, the son of Rudolf Eisler, a philosopher, and Marie Ida Fischer. Eisler grew up in Vienna, Austria, where his father was an assistant professor without tenure (Privatdozent) at the university. The socialist sympathies of his parents, his own studies in anarchist and Marxist literature, writing for his school journal, and eventually his experiences as a young officer during World War I were all factors that influenced Eisler’s future. He was active in the revolution in November 1918 and joined the Communist party of German-Austria....

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Eliot, George Fielding (22 June 1894–21 April 1971), author and journalist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of Philip Park Eliot and Rena King. His mother died when he was three; five years later his father, a marine insurance broker, married again and, in pursuit of a business opportunity, moved the family to Australia. After attending school at Montclair Academy in New Jersey and in the Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda, young Eliot entered Trinity College, University of Melbourne, from which he graduated in 1914....

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Gray, James Harrison (17 May 1916–19 September 1986), newspaper publisher, broadcast executive, and politician, was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, the son of Lyman Gray, an attorney, and Clara (maiden name unknown). James Gray spent his childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his father served as district attorney. He received his A.B. in English from Dartmouth College in 1937, lettering in several sports and earning Phi Beta Kappa honors. After graduating Gray enrolled at the University of Heidelberg in Germany to study world history. While there in 1939 he contributed news articles about Nazi Germany to the ...

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Hale, Arthur William (16 March 1896–17 October 1971), radio news broadcaster, was born Arthur William Glunt in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the son of George Alexander Glunt, a general store and property owner, and Ida J. Nail. In 1912 Glunt helped organize Altoona’s Musicians’ Union local, graduating from Altoona High School the following year. Glunt also clerked in his father’s store and played the piano in a local movie house. Entering Gettysburg College in 1914, he led the Sophomore and College Orchestra and was Glee Club pianist. When the United States entered World War I in April 1917, he left college to join the U.S. Army. Ten months later he was shipped to France and was discharged honorably on 21 August 1919 as a second lieutenant, having served as battalion gas officer in the 312th Field Artillery, 79th Division....

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Ronald S. Marmarelli

Hard, William (15 September 1878–30 January 1962), journalist, was born in Painted Post, New York, the son of Rev. Clark Pettengill Hard and Lydia E. van Someren. He spent part of his childhood in India, where his father was a Methodist missionary. Hard received a B.A. in history from Northwestern University in 1900, graduating, he wrote, “with a Phi Beta Kappa Key and no key to anything else.” In 1901 he left graduate study in history to be a resident at Northwestern University Settlement House in Chicago. He was resident-in-charge for one year and wrote for and later edited the house’s monthly, the ...

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Hedda Hopper Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97336).

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Hopper, Hedda (02 May 1885–01 February 1966), actress and gossip columnist, was born Elda Furry in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of David E. Furry, a butcher, and Margaret Miller. The fifth of nine children, Hopper attended school until the eighth grade, after which she stayed home to help her mother with the household. She had an early driving desire to be on the stage, spurred by seeing ...