William Allen White

William Allen White (1868 - 1944) was a very well-known newspaper editor and author. In 1895 White purchased The Emporia Gazette reportedly for $3,000 although some sources put the price at $5,000. The newspaper is still operated by the White family. White gained national prominence and political influence in the Republican Party with an editorial titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" published on August 16, 1896. White wrote the editorial in haste while still agitated over an impromptu debate he had on a street corner with some local populists while he was waiting to board a train. The debate involved the presidential campaign between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. The editorial sharply criticized populist political policies for ruining the economy of Kansas. White dashed to his office and wrote the editorial. Mark Hanna, Republican national chairman, had the editorial reprinted in papers across the country. White became a confidant of President Theodore Roosevelt and in 1912 helped form the Progressive Party. The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas is named in his honor. Clarence Darrow and William Allen White were friends and corresponded by letters. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-37609