Apr. 6, 1823 Saint-John Saint John County New Brunswick, Canada
Mar. 16, 1899 San Antonio Bexar County Texas, USA
Newspaper Publisher, Chicago Mayor. The founder of the Chicago "Tribune" newspaper, he was one of the most powerful and controversial figures in 19th century America. Originally a lawyer and newspaper publisher in Ohio, he became part-owner and editor of the Chicago Tribune in 1855. A staunch conservative, he was one of the founders of the Republican Party, and is credited with influencing the party to nominate Abraham Lincoln for President in 1860. A study in contrasts, Medill was an outspoken abolitionist, yet was so vehemently against unions that he once suggested in an editorial that the best way to deal with striking workers was with arsenic. He was elected Mayor of Chicago, Illinois in 1871 after the Great Chicago Fire, running on a platform calling for strict fire-proofing of all new buildings in the city. A teetotaler who supported the temperance movement, he closed Chicago's saloons on Sundays, an unpopular decision that may have influenced his decision to retire from office before his term was up. In 1874, he took full control over the Tribune, which was later passed on to his heirs, the Pattersons and the McCormicks.