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Ida Tarbell
Birth: Nov. 5, 1857
Erie County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jan. 6, 1944
Fairfield County
Connecticut, USA

Journalist. The only woman in the graduating class of Allegheny College in Medville, Pennsylvania in 1880, she began her career with an article examining Madame Roland and the role of women in the French Revolution for "McClure's Magazine". The article was initially commissioned to portray Roland's position that women were the calming influence on the tumultuous time in French history. Through intensive research and careful analyzing Turbell saw more evidence that the women were as much a driving force in the political uprising as the men and reported it as such, thus defining early on her style of honest, fair, factual reporting. When the women's suffrage movement in the United States came to a head, she was not waving banners at the head of the marches but actually rejecting some of the positions of the suffragettes, believing in equality but not subscribing to the ideology that men had fouled the political system and that women alone could straighten it out. She disliked bandwagons and never used her influence as a journalist as her own personal political vehicle. Her professional trademark was intensive investigation of facts and her ability to seek only the truth and not be swayed by celebrity or monetary gain. Even when President Woodrow Wilson offered to appoint her as the first woman to the Tariff Commission, she respectfully declined, as she had done when Henry Ford asked her to join his "Peace Ship" protest against the first World War. Her most famous work,"The History Of The Standard oil Company" is lauded by oil historians as the "most important business book ever written". After years of meticulous investigation she revealed the illegal methods of John D. Rockefeller to gain a monopoly of the infant oil industry. Again, to be fair, she also illustrated that in spite of Standard Oil's illegal practices, she had some praise for Rockefeller taking the lead in organizing and stabilizing a volatile industry. Ida Turbell had been one of the first investigative reporters to be labeled a "Muckraker" but rather than reveling in the controversial compliment, she eschewed the term and stated, "I was convinced that in the long run the public they were trying to stir would weary of vituperation, that if you were to secure permanent results the mind must be convinced." Her thorough works provided lasting historical results when in 1911 the United States Supreme Court broke up the Standard Oil Trust partially fueled by her research and facts. She penned her last book "All In The Day's Work", a self effacing modest biography, at age eighty. (bio by: R. Digati) 
Family links: 
  Franklin Sumner Tarbell (1829 - 1905)
  Esther Ann McCullough Tarbell (1830 - 1917)
  Ida Tarbell (1857 - 1944)
  Sarah Asenath Tarbell (1863 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
Woodlawn Cemetery
Crawford County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1017
Ida Tarbell
Added by: Ron Moody
Ida Tarbell
Added by: Russ Dodge
Ida Tarbell
Added by: Russ Dodge
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