Croly, Herbert David
Croly, Herbert David(1869–1930) editor, author; born in New York City. He was the son of David Goodman Croly, a prominent Irish-born journalist, and Jane Cunningham Croly, also a journalist and an activist for equal rights for women. He interrupted his studies at Harvard between 1886 and 1899 to work as an editor in New York City and to study abroad. From 1900 to 1906 he was editor of the Architectural Record, but he left to write The Promise of American Life (1909); this and its sequel, Progressive Democracy (1914), were extremely influential in their day by calling upon thoughtful Americans to reexamine the true nature and goals of their society. His reputation led Willard Straight, a wealthy diplomat and financier, to found the New Republic in 1914, expressly so Croly could edit it to further his ideas. Although aligned with Progressives, it endorsed President Woodrow Wilson's position on entering World War I, then opposed Wilson's acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles. This cost the New Republic many readers and in his final decade, having lost his influence in political circles, he took up religious and philosophical questions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.