Ida Tarbell Biography

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Ida Tarbell (1857-1944) was a teacher, biographer, author and editor as well as a pioneer of investigative journalism. She became famous for her serialized political biographies on figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) in McClure 's (1894-1904) and American Magazine (1906-1915) as well as for her reports on the corporate monopoly of John D. Rockefeller 's (1839-1937) business practices in The History of the Standard Oil Company (1904). Her reports on Rockefeller 's business are considered seminal works of investigative journalism, and they led to the dissolution of the Standard Oil Corporation and resulted in President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) labelling newspaper reporters like Tarbell as muckrakers. Despite being an accomplished woman who was considered pre-eminent in her field and a seminal part of the growing woman 's movement in her time, Tarbell was also known for advocating an anti-suffrage position,…show more content…
Ida Minerva Tarbell was born on November 5, 1857 in the Village of Hatch Hollow, Pennsylvania to Franklin Sumner Tarbell (1829-1905), a farmer, and Esther Ann McCullough (1830-1917), a school teacher. Tarbell went to elementary school in Titusville, Pennsylvania and subsequently attended Allegheny College (1876-1880) where she graduated, as the only woman in her class, with a degree in Biology (1880). She later taught a range of subjects including science, biology, geology, geometry, grammar, French, Greek, and Latin at Poland Union Seminary in Poland, Ohio. In 1883, feeling overworked and underpaid, Tarbell began working for Theodore L. Flood (1842-1915) at the Chautauguan Assembly Institute in Meadville Pennsylvania, which was dedicated to providing liberal adult education. There she was employed to author, report, translate, and edit articles for the monthly home-study magazine the Chautauguan. Her articles covered a wide range of subjects and included discussions on matters such as "Women as Inventors"
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