THE BLOG
06/23/2014 06:22 pm ET Updated Aug 23, 2014

The Fine Print on Our Favorite Columnists

Who says print is dead?

While it is by no means exhaustive, this list includes a dozen of Grammarly's favorite print journalists from the English-speaking world in honor of National Columnists Day on June 23:

  • Joseph Pulitzer (he of the Pulitzer Prize) was born in Hungary and, after serving in the United States Civil War, took a series of odd jobs and learned English and law from the St. Louis public library. A chance meeting at the library led to his career as a journalist, and by 25 years old he had already become a newspaper publisher.
  • William Randolph Hearst, unlike Joseph Pulitzer, inherited his position as a newspaper baron. Hearst's papers catered to working class readers with sentimental and sensational stories (called "yellow journalism"), and although he once controlled the largest news conglomerate in America, he's perhaps best remembered now as the inspiration for the film Citizen Kane.
  • Helen Thomas, who passed away at the age of 92 in 2013, covered every U.S. President from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. According to The New York Times, "she was the unofficial but undisputed head of the press corps, her status ratified by her signature line at the end of every White House news conference: 'Thank you, Mr. President.'"
  • Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, whose names will be forever linked in the history of journalism, broke the Watergate Scandal in the mid-70s, taking down Nixon and proving that newspapers still had the power to change the world. You can view an archive of their work here courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Ernie Pyle was a roving correspondent during World War II who reported from the front lines six days a week until his death in combat in 1945. You can read a selection of his columns here.
  • Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864, was a trailblazing investigative journalist who exposed corruption and the deplorable conditions of the poor. She feigned insanity to gain access to the notorious Women's Insane Asylum on Blackwell Island and later recreated Phileas Fogg's fictional journey from Around the World in Eighty Days.
  • Hunter S. Thompson is best known for his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a bizarre acid trip through "the heart of the American dream," which began as a two-part essay in Rolling Stone magazine. He was the father of "gonzo journalism," which abandoned traditional journalistic objectivity for a more intense, personal, and impressionistic style of writing. Also, drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.
  • Margaret Fuller was a well-known transcendentalist, writer, and literary critic. Best known for her "Conversations" (think an early version of the late-night chat show that featured prominent thinker such as Ralph Waldo Emerson), she also served as a foreign correspondent in Europe during the mid 19th century.
  • Tom Wolfe is equally well known for his novels, such as Bonfire of the Vanities, as his journalism. "As the man in the iconic white suit with a swaggering pen, Wolfe has spent the past fifty years chronicling America's status battles and capturing our cultural zeitgeist," writes Meredith Hindley for the National Endowment for the Arts, who honored Wolfe in 2006.
  • Dave Barry, unlike the other columnists on this list, is a funny guy. His nationally syndicated humor column for The Miami Herald ran from 1983 to 2005 and inspired many books and even a TV show. Plus he used to play in a band with Stephen King, so that's cool.
  • Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, and his popular long-form journalism has led to several bestselling books including Outliers: The Story of Success. He often looks for unexpected connections and hidden truths, and his work manages to be both intellectual and accessible.
This list wouldn't be complete without The Huffington Post's own Arianna Huffington, who founded the site in 2005. The Huffington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012, continues to be one of the most widely read and quoted media sites online.


Did we leave off your favorite newshound? Let us know in the comments!