Theodor Herzl (b. May 2, 1860, Pest, Kingdom of Hungary–d. July 3, 1904, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary) was trained as a lawyer and enjoyed a successful career in journalism. He was a correspondent for Viennese newspaper Neue Freie Presse in Paris before becoming literary editor of Neue Freie Presse.
As the Paris correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, Herzl followed the Dreyfus affair, an antisemitic incident in France. Covering the case made him desire a Jewish homeland. In 1897, at considerable personal expense, he founded the Zionist newspaper Die Welt in Vienna and planned the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland; he was elected president of the Congress. In 1898 he began a series of diplomatic initiatives to build support for a Jewish country.