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Virginia O'Hanlon
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    (July 20, 1889-May 13, 1971)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Birth name was Laura Virginia O'Hanlon
    Wrote to the New York Sun asking if Santa existed
    Received the editorial reply 'Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus' (September 21, 1897)
    As an adult, became a teacher and junior principal in the New York City school system
    She said she would start bothering her parents about Christmas gifts immediately after her birthday -- in July.
    She later admitted, 'I think I was a brat.'
    Despite its later fame, 'Yes, Virginia...' was the seventh item on the Sun's editorial page, running below an editorial about chainless bicycles.
    A Macy's commercial featured pitchmen like Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and Jessica Simpson quoting 'Yes, Virginia....' (2008)
    Her father seems to have done some major buck passing in telling her to ask the Sun instead of answering himself.
    'Yes, Virginia...' became the most reprinted editorial to run in an English-language newspaper.
    Throughout her life, she would receive letters asking if she still believed, to which she responded by sending a copy of the editorial.
    The building where she lived when she wrote the letter became a school and established a scholarship in her name.

Credit: C. Fishel

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