Inspire A Friend—With Herbert Bayard Swope

I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.

People Who Kick Buts: Herbert Bayard Swope

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I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.

  • Born on January 5, 1882; passed away on June 20, 1958.
  • A U.S. editor, journalist and intimate of the Algonquin Round Table.
  • Swope spent most of his career at the New York World newspaper. He was the first and three time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting. Swope was called the greatest reporter of his time by Lord Northcliffe of the London Daily Mail.
  • Swope was born in St. Louis, Missouri to German immigrants Ida Cohn and Isaac Swope, a watchcase maker. He was the youngest of four children – the younger brother of businessman Gerard Swope. As a child, Swope was a loner.
  • He is credited with coining the phrase “Cold War”.
  • Swope served as the editor for New York World ‘s 21-day crusade against the Ku Klux Klan in October 1921, which won the newspaper the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1922. As an example of investigative journalism, it was ranked 81 out the top 100 journalism stories of the 20th centry by New York University’s journalism department.
  • He was a legendary poker player, at one point in his life winning over $470,000 in a game with an oil baron, steel magnate and entertainer. Swope was also a member of a social club, the precursor to the Algonquin Round Table known as the Thanatopsis Inside Straight and Pleasure Club.
  • Swope had hosted parties with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, Winston Churchill, Averill Harriman, Albert Einstein, Alexander Woolcott – as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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