Jacob Riis Biography

668 Words3 Pages
Jacob Riis was born in Ribe, Denmark in 1849 and he immigrated to New York in 1870. All he had with him while he traveled on a steamship to the United States was $40 and a locket with hair of the girl he loved. He took all sorts of jobs like “ironworker, farmer, bricklayer, salesman”.(Moore) These jobs allowed him to see the American urban environment. In 1873, he became a police reporter for The New york Tribune and dove into the untold horrors of Americans slums which were filled with crime and poverty. In order to spread these truths he took pictures and wrote a book called How the other Half Lives, both becoming major hits in the news. Jacob Riis is “now a legend for his work toward social reform, and for his use of photography to bring…show more content…
Some of those pictures were “Women in Police Lodging House, Flat in Hell 's Kitchen, Potter 's Field, Chinatown, Bandit 's Roost, Minding the Baby, Midnight in Bottle Alley, and The Tramp”.(Infobase)These pictures showed the horrid living conditions in the tenements. In 1889, he partnered up with Scribner’s magazine in order to make his lectures public. This method that Riis used worked because his book became popular and many people started talking about the conditions of the slums. In fact, it even reached Theodore Roosevelt who stated “I have read your book and I have come to help”(The) which shows how successful Riis was with his methods. How the Other Half Lives created the first legislation of New York that was the start to changing tenement housings. There was also the Nation Environmental Justice Advisory Council that was put into place because of Riis’s efforts. “It also became an important predecessor the muckraking journalism that took shape in the United States after 1900”(The) which was another major movement. Jacob Riis made campaigns in order to make the water fresher because they were not in a state where people could drink it. “State officials were forced to take actions that would clean the
Open Document