White, William Allen

1943 card signed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Sage of Emporia”

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1868-1944) The Sage of Emporia, eminent American newspaper editor, politician, author, a leader of the Progressive movement. Born in Emporia, Kansas, attended the College of Emporia and the University of Kansas, and in 1892 started work at The Kansas City Star as an editorial writer. In 1895 White bought the Emporia Gazette for $3000 and became its editor. In 1896 he attracted national attention with a scathing attack on William Jennings Bryan, the Democrats, and the Populists titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" White sharply ridiculed Populist leaders for letting Kansas slip into economic stagnation and not keeping up economically with neighboring states because their anti-business policies frightened away economic capital from the state. The Republicans sent out hundreds of thousands of copies in support of McKinley during the 1896 presidential election. With his warm sense of humor, articulate editorial pen, and commonsense approach to life, he soon became known throughout the country. His Gazette editorials were widely reprinted; he wrote syndicated stories on politics, and he published many books, including biographies of Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge. "What's the Matter With Kansas" and "Mary White", a beautiful tribute to his 16-year-old daughter on her death in 1921, portraying her as an anti-flapper, were his best-known writings. He won a 1923 Pulitzer Prize for his editorial "To an Anxious Friend," published July 27, 1922, after being arrested in a dispute over free speech following objections to the way the state of Kansas handled the men who participated in the Great Railroad Strike of 1922. His autobiography, published posthumously, won a 1947 Pulitzer Prize.White developed his idea of the small town as a metaphor for understanding social change and for preaching the necessity of community, but tailored his rhetoric to the needs and values of emerging urban America. He opposed chain stores and mail order firms as a threat to the Main Street business owner. The Great Depression shook his faith in a cooperative, selfless, middle-class America. He was on the liberal wing of the Republican Party and wrote many editorials praising the New Deal of President Roosevelt, but voted against FDR every time. He was a leader of the Kansas Progressive movement, forming the Kansas Republican League in 1912 to oppose railroads. He helped Theodore Roosevelt form the Progressive (Bull-Moose) Party in 1912 in opposition to the Republican conservative incumbent president William H. Taft. White was a reporter at the Versailles Conference in 1919 and a strong supporter of Wilson's proposal for the League of Nations. During the 1920s, White was critical of the isolationism and conservatism of the Republican Party. In 1924, angered by the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the state, he made an unsuccessful run for Kansas Governor. He was fundamental in the formation of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, sometimes known as the White Committee. He fought the powerful America First Committee, which believed, like most other Republicans, that the US should stay out of the war. White spent much of his last three years involved with this Committee. He continued to write editorials for the Gazette until his death in 1944. He was also a founding editor of the Book of the Month Club with long time friend Dorothy Canfield. The University of Kansas Journalism School is named for him. There are also 2 awards the William Allen White Foundation has created: The William Allen White Award for outstanding journalistic merit and the Children's Book Award. In 1948 a 3¢ stamp was made in his honor by the US Postal Service. Signed 3 ¼ x 5 ½ card, Emporia, Kansas, November 1943.

Condition: Very good, light uniform toning, pale corners
Type:Signed Card






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