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Jacob Riis
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Advocate
    (May 3, 1849-May 26, 1914)
    Born in Ribe, Denmark
    Author of 'How the Other Half Lives' (1890), 'Children of the Poor' (1892), 'Out of the Mulberry Street' (1896), 'The Making of an American' (1901), 'The Battle with the Slum' (1901), 'Children of the Tenements' (1903), 'Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen' (1904), 'The Old Town' (1909), and 'Neighbors: Life Stories of the Other Half' (1914)
    Known for using his documentary photographic talents to help the impoverished in New York City
    Worked as a police reporter for the 'New York Tribune,' obtaining first-hand experiences with the New York slums, leading him to chronicle the social inequities he witnessed
    Traveled the country lecturing about the dangers of unsanitary tenements, child labor, sweatshops, and untreated diseases in city slums
    He allegedly immigrated to the US after the girl of his dreams turned down his proposal of marriage.
    He admitted his photography skills were poor.
    His hometown in Denmark was unimpressed with the success he attained in America and continued to look down on him.
    He expressed openly racist and anti-Semitic views in his literature (Blacks as lazy, Orientals as opium/white slavery dealers, etc.)
    He reserved his harshest language for the Italians, characterizing them as inherently corrupt, unsanitary, and violent in 'How the Other Half Lives.'
    Some argued that he misunderstood the immigrants he encountered, many of whom occupied the slums only as a short-term living situation while saving their earnings.
    He was an ardent proponent of 'new immigrant' assimilation and he belittled ethnic groups who refused.
    He refused, when offered money, to investigate whether rumors about the Spanish government were merely a pretense for expansionism (they led to the Spanish-American War).
    He cut short the chapter his wife wrote in his autobiography, saying 'it is not good for a woman to allow her to say too much.'
    He is disliked by Thomas Sowell.
    He arguably invented the role of 'the muckraker' in journalism.
    He was the first photographer to develop the use of the flash while taking photos of the slums at night.
    He was the first investigative reporter to rely on photography (over writing or sketches) to draw attention to social issues.
    It has been argued that he relied on racial stereotyping only to make his argument more compelling to his middle-class audience.
    He was an early confidante and mentor of Teddy Roosevelt and fellow muckraker, Lincoln Steffens.
    He was rendered homeless shortly after his arrival in America and thus carried a special empathy for the poor he profiled in his writings.
    His photos were so authentic that Martin Scorsese used them as a reference for his 2002 film, 'Gangs of New York.'
    He is believed to have saved NYC from a cholera epidemic, thanks to his expose on the city's water supply.
    His advocacy resulted in the opening of several public parks.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 6 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 7 Votes: 57.14% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 17 Votes: 47.06% Annoying
 
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