David Graham Phillips
David Graham Phillips
(October 31, 1867 – January
24, 1911) was an American journalist and novelist.
Early life and career
was born in Madison,
Indiana. After graduating from high school, Phillips
College -- following which he received a degree from
College of New
Jersey in 1887.
completing his education, Phillips worked as a newspaper reporter
Ohio, before moving on to New York City where he was employed as a reporter for
The Sun from 1890 to
1893, then columnist and editor with the New York World until 1902.
spare time, he wrote a novel, The Great God
, that was published in 1901. The royalty income
enabled him to work as a freelance journalist while continuing to
write fiction. Writing articles for various prominent magazines, he
began to develop a reputation as a competent investigative
journalist. Phillips' novels often commented on social issues of
the day and frequently chronicled events based on his real-life
journalistic experiences. He was considered a Progressive
and a muckraker
Phillips wrote an article in Cosmopolitan
in March 1906,
called "The Treason of the
", exposing campaign contributors being rewarded by
certain members of the U.
. The story launched a scathing attack on
Island senator Nelson
, and brought
Phillips a great deal of national exposure. This and other similar
articles helped lead to the passage of the Seventeenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution
, initiating popular
instead of state-legislature election of U. S. senators.
reputation cost him his life in January 1911, when he was shot
outside the Princeton Club at
Park in New York
City. The killer was a Harvard-educated
musician named Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough who came from a
prominent Philadelphia family.
Goldsborough believed that Phillips'
novel The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig
literary aspersions on his family. When confronting Phillips,
Goldsborough yelled, "Here you go!" After Phillips collapsed, he
yelled, "And here I go!", shooting himself in the head.
Hospital, Phillips died there a day later.
novel by Daniel D. Victor, The Seventh Bullet
, imagines a
Following Phillips' death, his sister Carolyn organized his final
manuscript for posthumous publication as Susan Lenox: Her Fall
. In 1931, that book would be made into an MGM
motion picture of the same name and starring
and Clark Gable
Graham Phillips is interred in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.
- F. T. Cooper, Some American Story-Tellers, (New York,
- J. C. Underwood, Literature and Insurgency, (New York,