H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken

Celebrity Profile

Name: H. L. Mencken
Occupation: Newspaper Columnists
Gender: Male
Birth Day: September 12, 1880
Death Date: January 29, 1956(1956-01-29) (aged 75)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Age: Aged 75
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., United States
Zodiac Sign: Libra

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken was born on September 12, 1880 in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., United States (75 years old). H. L. Mencken is a Newspaper Columnists, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out H. L. Menckennet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Does H. L. Mencken Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, H. L. Mencken died on January 29, 1956(1956-01-29) (aged 75)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S..

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Biography Timeline


Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He was the son of Anna Margaret (Abhau) and August Mencken Sr., a cigar factory owner. He was of German ancestry and spoke German in his childhood. When Henry was three, his family moved into a new home at 1524 Hollins Street facing Union Square park in the Union Square neighborhood of old West Baltimore. Apart from five years of married life, Mencken was to live in that house for the rest of his life.


He worked for three years in his father's cigar factory. He disliked the work, especially the sales aspect of it, and resolved to leave, with or without his father's blessing. In early 1898 he took a writing class at the Cosmopolitan University. This was to be the entirety of Mencken's formal education in journalism, or in any other subject. Upon his father's death a few days after Christmas in the same year, the business passed to his uncle, and Mencken was free to pursue his career in journalism. He applied in February 1899 to the Morning Herald newspaper (which became the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1900) and was hired part-time, but still kept his position at the factory for a few months. In June he was hired as a full-time reporter.


Mencken served as a reporter at the Herald for six years. Less than two-and-a-half years after the Great Baltimore Fire, the paper was purchased in June 1906 by Charles H. Grasty, the owner and editor of The News since 1892, and competing owner and publisher Gen. Felix Agnus, of the town's oldest (since 1773) and largest daily, The Baltimore American. They proceeded to divide the staff, assets and resources of The Herald between them. Mencken then moved to The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for Charles H. Grasty. He continued to contribute to The Sun, The Evening Sun (founded 1910) and The Sunday Sun full-time until 1948, when he stopped writing after suffering a stroke.


Mencken began writing the editorials and opinion pieces that made his name at The Sun. On the side, he wrote short stories, a novel, and even poetry, which he later revealed. In 1908, he became a literary critic for The Smart Set magazine, and in 1924 he and George Jean Nathan founded and edited The American Mercury, published by Alfred A. Knopf. It soon developed a national circulation and became highly influential on college campuses across America. In 1933, Mencken resigned as editor.


Mencken also published many works under various pseudonyms, including Owen Hatteras, John H Brownell, William Drayham, WLD Bell, and Charles Angoff. As a ghostwriter for the physician Leonard K. Hirshberg, he wrote a series of articles and, in 1910, most of a book about the care of babies.


Chaz Bufe, an admirer of Mencken, wrote that Mencken's various anti-Semitic statements should be understood in the context that Mencken made bombastic and over-the-top denunciations of almost any national, religious, and ethnic group. That said, Bufe still wrote that some of Mencken's statements were "odious", such as his claim in his 1918 introduction to Nietzsche's The Anti-Christ that "The case against the Jews is long and damning; it would justify ten thousand times as many pogroms as now go on in the world."


Mencken countered the arguments for Anglo-Saxon superiority prevalent in his time in a 1923 essay entitled "The Anglo-Saxon," which argued that if there was such a thing as a pure "Anglo-Saxon" race, it was defined by its inferiority and cowardice. "The normal American of the 'pure-blooded' majority goes to rest every night with an uneasy feeling that there is a burglar under the bed and he gets up every morning with a sickening fear that his underwear has been stolen."


He began his primary education in the mid-1880s at Professor Knapp's School on the east side of Holliday Street between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, next to the Holliday Street Theatre and across from the newly constructed Baltimore City Hall. The site today is the War Memorial and City Hall Plaza laid out in 1926 in memory of World War I dead. At 15, in June 1896, he graduated as valedictorian from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, at the time a males-only mathematics, technical and science-oriented public high school.

As a frank admirer of Nietzsche, Mencken was a detractor of populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Like Nietzsche, he also lambasted religious belief and the very concept of God, as Mencken was an unflinching atheist, particularly Christian fundamentalism, Christian Science and creationism, and against the "Booboisie," his word for the ignorant middle classes. In the summer of 1925, he attended the famous Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Dayton, Tennessee, and wrote scathing columns for the Baltimore Sun (widely syndicated) and American Mercury mocking the anti-evolution Fundamentalists (especially William Jennings Bryan). The play Inherit the Wind is a fictionalized version of the trial, and as noted above the cynical reporter E.K. Hornbeck is based on Mencken. In 1926, he deliberately had himself arrested for selling an issue of The American Mercury, which was banned in Boston by the Comstock laws. Mencken heaped scorn not only on the public officials he disliked but also on the state of American elective politics itself.


In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German-American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led an unsuccessful effort in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment. The two met in 1923, after Mencken delivered a lecture at Goucher; a seven-year courtship ensued. The marriage made national headlines, and many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage "the end of hope" and who was well known for mocking relations between the sexes, had gone to the altar. "The Holy Spirit informed and inspired me," Mencken said. "Like all other infidels, I am superstitious and always follow hunches: this one seemed to be a superb one." Even more startling, he was marrying an Alabama native, despite his having written scathing essays about the American South. Haardt was in poor health from tuberculosis throughout their marriage and died in 1935 of meningitis, leaving Mencken grief-stricken. He had always championed her writing and, after her death, had a collection of her short stories published under the title Southern Album.

In the summer of 1926, Mencken followed with great interest the Los Angeles grand jury inquiry into the famous Canadian-American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. She was accused of faking her reported kidnapping and the case attracted national attention. There was every expectation that Mencken would continue his previous pattern of anti-fundamentalist articles, this time with a searing critique of McPherson. Unexpectedly, he came to her defense by identifying various local religious and civic groups that were using the case as an opportunity to pursue their respective ideological agendas against the embattled Pentecostal minister. He spent several weeks in Hollywood, California, and wrote many scathing and satirical columns on the movie industry and Southern California culture. After all charges had been dropped against McPherson, Mencken revisited the case in 1930 with a sarcastic and observant article. He wrote that since many of that town's residents had acquired their ideas "of the true, the good and the beautiful" from the movies and newspapers, "Los Angeles will remember the testimony against her long after it forgets the testimony that cleared her."

In the 1930 edition of Treatise on the Gods, Mencken wrote:


In 1931, the Arkansas legislature passed a motion to pray for Mencken's soul after he had called the state the "apex of moronia."


Mencken admired the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (he was the first writer to provide a scholarly analysis in English of Nietzsche's views and writings) and Joseph Conrad. His humor and satire owed much to Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain. He did much to defend Dreiser despite freely admitting his faults, including stating forthrightly that Dreiser often wrote badly and was a gullible man. Mencken also expressed his appreciation for William Graham Sumner in a 1941 collection of Sumner's essays and regretted never having known Sumner personally. In contrast, Mencken was scathing in his criticism of the German philosopher Hans Vaihinger, whom he described as "an extremely dull author" and whose famous book Philosophy of 'As If' he dismissed as an unimportant "foot-note to all existing systems."


During the Great Depression, Mencken did not support the New Deal, which cost him popularity, as did his strong reservations regarding U.S. participation in World War II, and his overt contempt for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He ceased writing for The Baltimore Sun for several years, focusing on his memoirs and other projects as editor while he served as an adviser for the paper that had been his home for nearly his entire career. In 1948, he briefly returned to the political scene to cover the presidential election in which President Harry S. Truman faced Republican Thomas Dewey and Henry A. Wallace of the Progressive Party. His later work consisted of humorous, anecdotal, and nostalgic essays that were first published in The New Yorker and then collected in the books Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heathen Days.

On November 23, 1948, Mencken suffered a stroke, which left him aware and fully conscious but nearly unable to read or write and able to speak only with difficulty. After his stroke, Mencken enjoyed listening to classical music and, after some recovery of his ability to speak, talking with friends, but he sometimes referred to himself in the past tense, as if he were already dead. During the last year of his life, his friend and biographer William Manchester read to him daily.


Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956. He was interred in Baltimore's Loudon Park Cemetery.

Mencken's home at 1524 Hollins Street in Baltimore's Union Square neighborhood, where he lived for 67 years before his death in 1956, was bequeathed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore on the death of his younger brother, August, in 1967. The City of Baltimore acquired the property in 1983, and the H. L. Mencken House became part of the City Life Museums. It has been closed to general admission since 1997, but is opened for special events and group visits by arrangement.

Shortly after World War II, Mencken expressed his intention of bequeathing his books and papers to Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library. At his death, it was in possession of most of the present large collection. As a result, his papers as well as much of his personal library, which includes many books inscribed by major authors, are held in the Library's Central Branch on Cathedral Street in Baltimore. The original third floor H. L. Mencken Room and Collection housing this collection was dedicated on April 17, 1956. The new Mencken Room, on the first floor of the Library's Annex, was opened in November 2003.


Mencken was preoccupied with his legacy and kept his papers, letters, newspaper clippings, columns, and even grade school report cards. After his death, those materials were made available to scholars in stages in 1971, 1981, and 1991 and include hundreds of thousands of letters sent and received. The only omissions were strictly personal letters received from women.


In 1989, per his instructions, Alfred A. Knopf published Mencken's "secret diary" as The Diary of H. L. Mencken. According to an Associated Press story, Mencken's views shocked even the "sympathetic scholar who edited it," Charles A. Fecher of Baltimore. There is a club in Baltimore called the Maryland Club which had one Jewish member, and that member died. Mencken said, "There is no other Jew in Baltimore who seems suitable," according to the article. The diary also quoted him as saying of blacks, in September 1943, that "it is impossible to talk anything resembling discretion or judgment to a colored woman. They are all essentially child-like, and even hard experience does not teach them anything."


Other Mencken related collections of note are at Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and Yale University. In 2007, Johns Hopkins acquired "nearly 6,000 books, photographs and letters by and about Mencken" from "the estate of an Ohio accountant."

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Sara Haardt Spouse N/A N/A N/A

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, H. L. Mencken is 142 years, 2 months and 14 days old. H. L. Mencken will celebrate 143rd birthday on a Tuesday 12th of September 2023. Below we countdown to H. L. Mencken upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

138th birthday - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Happy 138th Birthday to the 'Sage of Baltimore' -- H.L. Mencken | American Enterprise Institute - AEI

September 12 of this year (tomorrow) marks the 137th birthday of H.L. Mencken. Here are 12 of my favorite quotes from the 'Sage of Baltimore' to celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential American journalists, essayists and writers of the early 20th century.

H. L. Mencken 138th birthday timeline
137th birthday - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Happy 137th Birthday to the 'Sage of Baltimore' -- H.L. Mencken | American Enterprise Institute - AEI

September 12 of this year (tomorrow) marks the 137th birthday of H.L. Mencken. Here are 12 of my favorite quotes from the 'Sage of Baltimore' to celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential American journalists, essayists and writers of the early 20th century.

H. L. Mencken 137th birthday timeline
133rd birthday - Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Mencken's 133rd

H. L. Mencken 133rd birthday timeline
132nd birthday - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mencken’s birthday | The Mencken House

129th birthday - Saturday, September 12, 2009

Remembering Mencken

As someone whose education and professional experience has been dedicated to the craft of journalism, I am an admirer of those who have done...

H. L. Mencken 129th birthday timeline

H. L. Mencken trends


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