Alfred Harmsworth and Harold Harmsworth (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: The Harmsworth brothers’ innovative approach to newspaper publishing revolutionized the practice of journalism, and both became adept at translating their business acumen into an effective force in the political arena.
Alfred Charles William Harmsworth was born on July 15, 1865, in Chapelizod, Ireland, and his brother Harold was born on April 26, 1868, in Hampstead, England They were the first and second sons of their parents. Their mother, née Geraldine Maffett, was the daughter of an Irish land agent; their father, Alfred Harmsworth, was an unsuccessful barrister whose poor health contributed to his difficulties in providing a living for his family. His death in 1880 meant that both his eldest sons had to cut short their schooling and begin earning a living while still in their teens.
Young Alfred attended Stamford Grammar School, where he edited a school magazine that featured a controversial gossip column. Only fifteen when his father died, he began to write free-lance articles for children’s publications and newspapers, and by 1882 his work was appearing in the Globe, The Morning Post, and The St. James’s Gazette. A bout of ill health forced him to leave London, but by 1885 he had secured a good position with a publishing firm in Coventry. Harold attended St. Marylebone Grammar School but left before graduating to become a clerk in the Inland Revenue...
(The entire section is 1718 words.)
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