James Gordon Bennett, Sr. Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Childhood And Early Life
The founder of the New York Herald James Gordon Bennett, Sr was born in Scotland on the 1 September 1795. His family came from Newmill, a small village in the Moray area where they were prosperous farmers.
When Bennett was 15, Bennett moved to Aberdeen and started studying to become a Roman Catholic priest but left after a few years without ordination.
Rise To Fame
After leaving the Catholic seminary, Bennett, Sr traveled around his homeland before migrating North America. Initially, Bennett, Sr lived in Nova Scotia working as a schoolteacher. Bennett, Sr also worked in Portland Main for a while before moving on to Boston, Massachusetts (1820). During his time in Boston, Bennett, Sr worked as a bookseller as well as a proofreader. Then in 1923, he settled in New York City where he found work as a freelance journalist. Bennett, Sr also worked as editorial assistant with the Enquirer and the New York Courier.
New York Herald
Bennett established the New York Herald in 1935. His breakthrough was in April 1936 when Bennett got the exclusive rights to cover of the sensational murder of Helen Jewett. Bennett was influential politically and also tried various initiatives in relation to advertising and circulation. This was also the first publication to obtain an exclusive interview with the current President, Martin Van Buren (1839). By the time Bennett retired and handed over the newspaper to his son in 1866, the New York Herald had the highest circulation in the United States and was a famous and influential newspaper which lasted in various forms until 1924.
Bennett, Sr was married to Henrietta Crean, and the couple had three children, including his son James Gordon Bennett, Jr. who took over the New York Herald from his father. Bennett, Sr died in New York City on the 1 June 1972. Herald Square in New York is named after the New York Herald, and there is a sculpture honoring the Bennett family and their contribution to the media.