Whitelaw Reid

Whitelaw Reid

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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 Greeley 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-, directed the Herald Tribune from 1953 until 1959, after John Hay Whitney acquired control (1958). Ogden Rogers Reid was U.S. ambassador to Israel (1959-61) and in 1962 was elected 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).

Whitelaw Reid (October 27, 1837December 15, 1912) was a U.S. politician and newspaper editor, as well as the author of a popular history of Ohio in the Civil War.

Born on a farm near Xenia, Ohio, Reid attended Xenia Academy and went on to graduate from Miami University with honors in 1856. At Miami, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, and lobbied for the expulsion of the six members who ultimately went on to found Sigma Chi.

He was the longtime editor of the New York Tribune and close friend of Horace Greeley. He was a leader of the Liberal Republican movement in 1872.

A Republican, he had an illustrious career as a diplomat, serving as United States Ambassador to France from 1889 to 1892, and again as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1905 to 1912. In 1892, he was the Republican vice presidential nominee replacing Levi P. Morton on a ticket headed by incumbent President Benjamin Harrison. Reid was given a spot on the Peace Commission following the Spanish-American War. Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York of Westchester County is currently located on his former estate.

After his death whilst serving as the ambassador to Britain, his body was returned to New York aboard HMS Natal. He is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

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