Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Richard Harding Davis, war correspondent

Richard Harding Davis
It is the birthday of writer Richard Harding Davis (1864), the famed war correspondent, whose coverage of the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War (from both sides) and World War I, made his reputation. He was the best known reporter of his era. He wrote for the New York Evening Sun, the New York Herald and The New York Times. He served as managing editor of Harper's Weekly and wrote for Scribner's Magazine. His short story, Gallagher, about a streetwise newspaper copyboy who ferrets out the culprit in a notorious murder case, drew the admiration of Theodore Roosevelt, and they became fast friends when Davis covered the Spanish-American War embedded with the Rough Riders in Cuba. The dashing and dapper Davis was the model for the Gibson Man, illustrator Charles Dana Gibson's handsome masculine counterpart of his famed Gibson Girl, the late 19th century epitome of feminine beauty. Gibson was a friend and also illustrated some of Davis' books. Davis wrote more than 35 novels, short story collections and travel books based on his experiences.

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