Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy birthday, Richard Harding Davis

Davis (standing second from left) with fellow war correspondents in Tampa during the Spanish-American War.
It is the birthday of war corespondent Richard Harding Davis (1864), the most famous celebrity reporter of his era, who built his reputation on his coverage of the Spanish-American War, The Second Boer War, and World War I. At various times, he worked for the New York Evening Sun, the New York Herald, and The New York Times. Later, he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly and wrote for Scribner's Magazine. He became a good friend of Teddy Roosevelt when he was embedded with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Roosevelt loved his short story, Gallagher, about a streetwise copyboy who hunts down the murderer in a sensational case. A ruggedly handsome fellow, Davis was the prototype for Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Man, the epitome of masculinity in 19th century America. Davis wrote more than 35 novels, short story collections and travel books.

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