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Finley Peter Dunne
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Author
    (July 10, 1867-April 24, 1936)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name was Peter Dunne
    Journalist and humorist
    Reporter for the Chicago Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Herald and Chicago Evening Post
    Wrote columns featuring the Irish bartender Mr. Dooley
    Columns collected in the books ‘Mr. Dooley in War and Peace’ (1898), ‘Mr. Dooley in the Hearts of His Countrymen’ (1899), ‘Mr. Dooley’s Philosophy’ (1900), ‘Mr. Dooley’s Opinions’ (1901), ‘Observations by Mr. Dooley’ (1902), ‘Dissertations by Mr. Dooley’ (1906) and ‘’Mr. Dooley Says’ (1910)
    Father of screenwriter Philip Dunne
    He finished last in his class in high school.
    He said one of the reasons for making the character in his columns Irish was ‘while it might be dangerous to call an alderman a thief in English no one could sue if a comic Irishman denounced the statesman as a thief.’
    His use of phonetic spellings to render an Irish dialect often make his Mr. Dooley stories difficult to read; only two years after his death ‘The New Republic’ wrote, ‘if you try quoting Mr. Dooley's brogue to the average listener you will be rewarded with a look of intense pain.’
    His poor grades in high school were probably caused in part by his mother’s death from tuberculosis when he was sixteen.
    As a sports reporter, he popularized the word ‘southpaw’ for a left-handed pitcher.
    He was appointed city editor of the Chicago Times at the young age of 21.
    His Mr. Dooley columns were considered such a litmus test of public opinion that they were read at meetings of William McKinley’s cabinet.
    Historian Richard Hofstadter called him ‘one of the shrewdest commentators’ of the Progressive Era.
    He coined the phrase, often attributed to Tip O’Neill, ‘All politics is local.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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