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John Ames Mitchell

Editor, Life Magazine

Centurion, 1882–1918

Born 17 January 1845 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 29 June 1918 in Ridgefield, Connecticut

Buried Fairlawn Cemetery, Ridgefield, Connecticut

Proposed by Horace W. Robbins, John Durand, and Henry Holt

Elected 4 February 1882 at age thirty-seven

Century Memorial

It is for his own genial personality, more even than for his editorship of Life, that the Century will remember John Ames Mitchell. Yet his achievement in humorous journalism was remarkable. In offering to the general reader a kind of weekly publication which had previously made its way only in college journalism, he was convinced from the start that sprightly text supported by the very best drawing would establish its own clientage. His weekly brochure of wit and satire, with a little of good humored cynicism and a great deal of clever comment, provided something which the public instantly discovered that it wanted. If on rare occasions he was bitter in the caricature of men and events which he brought into the pages of Life, it was because of the strength and force of his beliefs; never because of a lapse in the kindliness of his temper.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1919 Century Association Yearbook