Journalist and Diplomat. His family emigrated to Philadelphia, and at age 15 he entered the newspaper business as a proofreader. In 1861, while with the Philadelphia Press he distinguished himself with his reports on the first Battle of Bull Run, which led to his appointment as Managing Editor. By 1865 he became Managing Editor of the New York Tribune and also began undertaking government missions, traveling to Europe on behalf of the Departments of State and Treasury. In 1872 he joined the New York Herald as its European correspondent. In 1877 former President Grant invited Young to accompany him on his two-year world tour, a voyage Young chronicled in "Around the World with General Grant." In 1882 President Arthur named Young Minister to China, where he distinguished himself by successfully mediating disputes between the US and China, and between France and China. Three years later, Young resigned and resumed his foreign correspondent's position with the New York Herald. In 1890 he returned to Philadelphia, and in 1897, President McKinley appointed him Librarian of Congress. Young's most notable achievement as Librarian was to begin moving materials from the Library's original location in the US Capitol to its own facility, an effort that was still ongoing when he died. John Russell Young was the brother of journalist and Congressman James Rankin Young.
Bio by: Bill McKern