Reid, Whitelaw

Reid, Whitelaw,

1837–1912, American journalist and diplomat, b. near Xenia, Ohio. His distinguished correspondence during the Civil War for the Cincinnati Gazette led Horace GreeleyGreeley, Horace,
1811–72, American newspaper editor, founder of the New York Tribune, b. Amherst, N.H. Early Life

His irregular schooling, ending at 15, was followed by a four-year apprenticeship (1826–30) on a country weekly at East Poultney, Vt.
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 to make him managing editor of the New York Tribune in 1868. After Greeley's death, Reid gained financial as well as editorial control of the paper and continued it as a leading journal of the nation. While publishing the Tribune, he was minister to France (1889–92), was the Republican candidate for Vice President in 1892, and was ambassador to Great Britain from 1905 until his death in London. Reid's many books reflect his journalistic and diplomatic activities. After the War (1866) and Ohio in the War (1868) relate to the Civil War; typical of several on foreign affairs is Problems of Expansion (1900).

Whitelaw Reid's son, Ogden Mills Reid, 1882–1947, was the next editor of the paper, assisted and succeeded (1947) by his wife, Helen Rogers Reid, 1882–1970. The couple strengthened the paper by purchasing the New York Herald, creating the New York Herald Tribune (folded 1966). The deal included the Paris Herald, leading to the formation of the International Herald Tribune (now owned and published by the New York Times).

The Reids' sons, Whitelaw Reid, 1913–2009, and Ogden Rogers Reid, 1925–2019, directed the Herald Tribune from 1953 until 1959, after John Hay WhitneyWhitney, John Hay,
1904–82, American public official and newspaper publisher, b. Ellsworth, Maine. After an active career in business and in various government posts, Whitney served (1957–61) as ambassador to Great Britain.
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 acquired control (1958). Ogden Rogers Reid was U.S. ambassador to Israel (1959–61) and in 1962 was elected as a Republican (he became a Democrat in 1972) to the House of Representatives, where he served 6 terms, retiring in 1975.


See R. Kluger, The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune (1986).

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Reid, Whitelaw

(1837–1912) journalist, diplomat; born near Xenia, Ohio. He was a Civil War correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette, and after abortive attempts with cotton plantations in the South (1865–67), he joined the New York Tribune (1868), becoming its editor-in-chief and eventually its principal owner (1872–1905). As the leading Republican editor in the U.S.A., he was overtly involved in Republican politics and supported expansionism in Cuba, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Panama. Known to harbor political ambitions, he was nominated for the vice-presidency (1892), but had to settle for being appointed ambassador to France (1889–92) and Great Britain (1905–12), and for retiring as a wealthy man.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.