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Mencken, Henry Louis (H. L. Mencken)

Born: 1880 AD
Died: 1956 AD, at 75 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Critics, Journalist, Satirists


1880 - Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 1880.


1899 - Worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Morning Herald.


1906 - Mencken became a reporter at The Baltimore Sun after working at the Baltimore Morning Herald.


1908 - Became a literary critic for the magazine The Smart Set. Mencken together with George Jean Nathan, founded and edited  The American Mercury which became highly influential on college campuses across America.


1931 - Mencken was an outspoken speaker defender of freedom of conscience and civil rights, he assaulted America's preoccupation with fundamentalist Christianity. Because of his attitude towards the serving public officials and the legislature of the State of Arkansas passed a motion to pray for the soul of Mencken after he had made a statement referring to the state as the "apex of moronia."


1948 - Diagnosed and suffered a cerebral thrombosis, in which he never recovered fully from this illness.

1956 - At the age of seventy-five, he died on January 29, 1956.


Page last updated: 10:04am, 15th Nov '06

  • "The typical American of today has lost all the love of liberty, that his forefathers had, and all their disgust of emotion, and pride in self- reliance. He is led no longer by Davy Crocketts; he is led by cheer leaders, press agents, word mongers, uplifters."
  • "The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality."
  • "The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are."
  • "There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible, and wrong."
  • "Love is the triump of imagination over intelligence."