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James Gordon Bennett

James Gordon BennettBorn: 1-Sep-1795
Birthplace: Newmill, Banffshire, Scotland
Died: 1-Jun-1872
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Publisher

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder, The New York Herald

American journalist, founder and editor of the New York Herald, was born at Newmill in Banffshire, Scotland, in 1795. He was educated for the Roman Catholic priesthood in a seminary at Aberdeen, but in the spring of 1819, giving up the career which had been chosen for him, he emigrated to America. Landing at Halifax, Nova Scotia, he earned a poor living there for a short time by giving lessons in French, Spanish and bookkeeping; he passed next to Boston, where starvation threatened him until he obtained employment with a printer. In 1822 he went to New York. An engagement as translator of Spanish for the Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, took him there for a few months in 1823. On his return to New York gave school lectures on political economy and did subordinate work for the journals. During the next ten years he was employed on various papers, was the Washington correspondent first of the New York Enquirer, and later of the Courier and Enquirer in 1827-32, his letters attracting much attention. He founded the short-lived Globe in New York in 1832, and in 1833-34 was the chief editor and one of the proprietors of the Pennsylvanian at Philadelphia. On the 6th of May 1835 he published the first number of a small one-cent paper, bearing the title of New York Herald, and issuing from a cellar, in which the proprietor and editor played also the part of salesman. By his industry, the variety of his news, the "spicy" correspondence, and the supply of personal gossip and scandal, he made the paper a great commercial success. He devoted his attention particularly to the gathering of news, and was the first to introduce many of the methods of the modern American reporter. He published on the 13th of June 1835, the first Wall Street financial article to appear in any American newspaper; printed a vivid and detailed account of the great fire of December 1835, in New York; was the first, in 1846, to obtain the report in full by telegraph of a long political speech; and during the Civil War maintained a staff of 63 war correspondents. Bennett continued to edit the Herald almost until his death, being succeeded by his son, also James Gordon Bennett.

Son: James Gordon Bennett, Jr.

    The New York Herald Founder (1835-)
    The New York Courier and Enquirer Asst. Editor (1829-32)

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