Opie P Read

Opie P Read

Birth
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Death 2 Nov 1939 (aged 86)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 82292756 · View Source
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Prolific American journalist and humorist. His bibliography lists 60 published books. Prior to 1887, Opie Read edited five separate newspapers, all in the U.S. South: the Statesville Argus (KY), the Bowling Green (KY) Pantograph, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Little Rock (AR) Evening Post, and the Little Rock Gazette, ancestor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In 1882, Read founded his own humor magazine "The Arkansas Traveler," which he carried on after leaving newspaper journalism in 1887. Read brought the Arkansas Traveler, a flowing pen, and a command of Southern dialect to Chicago in 1887. He would spend the remainder of his life there. In his first 20 full years in Chicago (1888-1908), he published 54 separate books, of which 31 were novels, 18 were book-length compilations of short fiction such as that published in the Arkansas Traveler, and five were works of non-fiction. As a novelist, Read is credited with bringing the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute" into print in his 1898 novel "A Yankee from the West." After 1908, Read appears to have gone into semi-retirement. His productivity slackened during the 30 remaining years of his life, although he did publish six additional books (two of them juveniles).

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From "The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture"

Opie P Read (1852-1939)

"Opie Read was a newspaperman, author, and lecturer." He wrote novels and wrote articles for three newspapers in Arkansas, even though his formal education was limited. His talents are attributed to being and avid reader. He did attend classes at Neoophogen College in Gallatin while working in TN. His son Philo was named after business partner Philo D. Benham. They published a newspaper in Arkansas and later Read moved the paper to Chicago. His wife Ada was Philo Benham's sister. They had 8 children. Two died in infancy. Opie retired from the paper in 1893, and continued to write novels. He performed in a silent movie in 1920. Opie's writing style has been compared to Mark Twain. His death was caused by a fall and he was cremated."

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Opie Read was born Dec. 22, 1852, at Nashville, Tenn.; son of Gilford and Elizabeth (Wallace) Read. He was married June 30, 1881, to Ada Benham. Source: Who's Who in the World, 1912

"Chicago novelist Opie Read was a good friend of Carl Sandburg, Lorado Taft and other notables of the Chicago Renaissance." - Save the Dunes website





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  • Created by: Eva Hopkins
  • Added: 22 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 82292756
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Opie P Read (22 Dec 1852–2 Nov 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 82292756, citing Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Eva Hopkins (contributor 47159848) .