Mencken, H. L. (1880–1956)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Henry Louis (H. L.) Mencken, “The Sage of Baltimore,” left school in 1899 to become a reporter for the city's Morning Herald and later served as drama critic, city editor, and then managing editor of the Evening Herald. So famous and influential was he in the age before TV that a prominent contemporary, the journalist Walter Lippmann, called him “the most powerful influence on this whole generation of educated people.” Indeed, most Mencken admirers today may not be libertarians, but are instead appreciators of his impressive literary and journalistic skills. Soon after the Herald folded in 1906, he joined the Baltimore Sun, where he served as editor, columnist, or contributor for most of his career. His association with the Sunpapers was ...

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