Heywood C. Broun

On this date in 1888, newspaperman Heywood C. Broun was born in Brooklyn. He attended Harvard from 1906-1910, where he befriended Walter Lippman and John Reed. Broun left Harvard only 10 credits short of a degree to become a sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph. He joined the New York Tribune and covered WWI as its correspondent in France. In 1921, he joined the New York World and debuted his column, "It Seems to Me." Broun campaigned for the underdog, against censorship, racism and for women's rights. He supported Eugene V. Debs, Margaret Sanger, D.H. Lawrence, and Tom Mooney, a labor leader believed to have been framed in a bombing case. Broun resigned when the World refused to run his coverage of the Sacco and Vanzetti case. In 1930, Broun ran unsuccessfully as a Socialist for Congress. Several years later, the Socialists expelled him for appearing on the platform with members of the Communist Party in support of Mooney and the Scottsboro Nine. He wrote for The Nation and the New Republic, and helped to establish the American Newspaper Guild in 1933, which today gives out the Heywood Broun Award for news organizations showing an abiding concern for the underdog. Broun, one of the Algonquin Wits, was said to have whispered to Tallulah Bankhead during a Broadway Show in which she was starring: "Don't look now, Tallulah, but your show's slipping." The droll newspaperman wrote several books and novels, including The A.E.F. (1918), The Boy Grew Older (1922), and a biography, Anthony Comstock, with Margaret Leech (1927). Two collections of his columns were published: It Seems to Me (1935) and Collected Edition (1941). D. 1939.

>“Only Puritans think of the Devil as the most fascinating figure in the universe.”

—-Heywood C. Broun, "On Censorship," Anthony Comstock,1927

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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