Charles De Young

Charles De Young

Birth
Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 23 Apr 1880 (aged 35)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA
Plot Section G
Memorial ID 10617171 · View Source
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Journalist. Co-founder and first Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco Chronicle. Born in France, he emigrated to San Francisco with his parents around 1850. In January 1865 De Young and his brother Michael launched "The Daily Dramatic Chronicle", an eight-page theatrical handbill, with $20 borrowed from their landlord. Their first scoop was breaking the story of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. By 1870 the Chronicle had become a full-fledged newspaper, with such staff writers as Mark Twain and Bret Harte, and the largest circulation west of the Mississippi. De Young learned that scandal sold papers and went to great lengths to dig up dirt, true or not, on San Francisco notables. This made him a much-hated man. He received death threats almost daily, was slapped with libel suits, beaten with a cane on one occasion and pistol-whipped on another. In August 1879, when Baptist minister Isaac Kalloch ran for mayor against the Chronicle's candidate, De Young dredged up an illicit affair the preacher had as a teenager. Kalloch retaliated from the pulpit, calling De Young "a hyena of society" and asserting that his mother was a prostitute. The newspaperman took exception to this. He waited outside Kalloch's church and shot the clergyman twice when he came out; a mob overturned his carriage and he narrowly escaped a lynching. Kalloch survived and was elected mayor out of sympathy. Out on bail, De Young spent five months in Mexico waiting for the heat to die down and then resumed his attacks on Kalloch with a scurrilous pamphlet. His attempted murder case would never go to trial. On April 23, 1880, the mayor's son, Isaac Milton Kalloch, stormed into De Young's office and shot him to death. The killer was later acquitted; one of the jurors opined, "I would have done the same thing myself". Onlookers jeered as De Young's funeral procession made its way to Cypress Lawn. Leadership of the Chronicle passed over to Michael De Young.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 13 Mar 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10617171
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Charles De Young (6 Jan 1845–23 Apr 1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10617171, citing Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .