Mencken, H.L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956

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Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956), was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Mencken, known as the "Sage of Baltimore", is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century.

Mencken worked as a reporter and drama critic for the Baltimore Morning Herald from 1899 to 1906. From 1906 to the end of his working career he was at the Baltimore Evening Sun where he wrote the column "Free Lance" in which he expressed his views on literature, politics and society. He was book review editor for the magazine Smart Set from 1908 to 1924 when he started a new magazine, American Mercury, a journal of sociology and politics. He retired from American Mercury in 1933 and concentrated on writing for the Baltimore Sun and encouraging young literary talent. Mencken was also an independent writer, best known for The American Language (1919), a guide to American idioms and expressions, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial. He also wrote an autobiographical trilogy in the early 1940s, Happy Days (1940), Newspaper Days (1941), and Heathen Days (1943).

Individualistic, contentious, even pugnacious, Mencken was outspoken in his contempt for many aspects of American society. As a nationally syndicated columnist and book editor, he had a strong influence on the literate and articulate young writers of the 1910s and early 1920s. Mencken married English professor Sara Haardt in 1930; they had no children. Mencken died in his home in Baltimore in 1956.

From the description of Letters, 1911-1920 (Johns Hopkins University). WorldCat record id: 611020078

From the description of H.L. Mencken papers, 1905-1956. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652295

Biographical note prepared from information found in the Biographical Dictionary of American Newspaper Columnists and World Authors, 1900-1950 .

From the guide to the H. L. Mencken Letters 2009-003., circa 1919-1946, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

From the description of H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken letters, 1938-1955. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 607909361

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creatorOf Sterling, George, 1869-1926. Papers of George Sterling, 1895-1927. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
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creatorOf The defeat of Alphonso, 1900-1930. Houghton Library
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referencedIn Fay family. Papers, 1800-1953 (inclusive), 1859-1953 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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creatorOf Wilson, James Southall, 1880-1963. Papers of James Southall Wilson [manuscript] ca. 1904-62. University of Virginia. Library
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creatorOf Microfilm copy of New York Bureau of Legal Advice Records, 1917-1919 Swarthmore College, Peace Collection, SCPC
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creatorOf Owens, Claire Myers. Claire Myers Owens collection, 1868-1983. Texas Woman's University Library, Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey Library
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referencedIn Fielding Hudson Garrison Papers, 1910-1957 History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
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creatorOf Neiburg, Jack. Correspondence of Jack Neiburg with H. L. Mencken and Kenneth L. Roberts. [manuscript] 1941-1947. University of Virginia. Library
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referencedIn Morris S. Lazaron papers, 1851-1979 (bulk 1930-1950) The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Paul Blanshard Papers, 1912-1979 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
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referencedIn Alexander Gumby Collection of Negroiana, [ca. 1800]-1981 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
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creatorOf Vol. CXXIII. 1924-1933.A. S. Hope, friend of Alexander Galt Ross: Letters to A. G. Ross: 1924-1926.Sidney Fenold, of the Savile Club: Letter to A. G. Ross: 1926.E. O. Pope, secretary, United University Club: Letter to A. G. Ross: 1924.Margaret Storm ..., 1924-1933 British Library
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referencedIn Papers, 1800-1953 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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creatorOf H. L. Mencken Papers, 1927-1970 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
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