Jane Grant

Jane Grant (May 29, 1892 – March 16, 1972) was a New York City journalist who co-founded The New Yorker with her first husband, Harold Ross.

Jane Grant
Jane Grant
Jeanette Cole Grant

May 29, 1892
DiedMarch 16, 1972 (aged 79)

Life and career

Jane Grant was born Jeanette Cole Grant in Joplin, Missouri, and grew up and went to school in Girard, Kansas. Grant originally trained to be a vocalist. She came to New York City at 16 to pursue singing, but fell into journalism when she joined the staff of The New York Times in the society department.[1] She soon worked her way into the city room as a reporter and became close friends with the critic Alexander Woollcott. As a journalist for the Times (its first full-fledged woman reporter), she covered women's issues, questioning public figures about their views on the status of women and interviewing women who worked in traditionally male professions. She wrote for the Times for 15 years.

During World War I Grant, who was also a talented singer and dancer, talked her way onto a troopship to France by joining the entertainment with the YMCA. She joined the American Red Cross and entertained soldiers during shows in Paris and at camps. In France, Woollcott introduced her to the future "Vicious Circle" members, including Harold Ross. Grant and Ross married in 1920. The "Vicious Circle" later became the Algonquin Round Table.[1] She returned to the Times after the war.

In 1921 Grant joined the Lucy Stone League, which was dedicated, in the manner of Lucy Stone, to helping women keep their maiden names after marriage, as Grant did after her two marriages.[2] In 1950, Grant and 22 former members restarted the Lucy Stone League; its first meeting was on 22 Mar 1950 in New York City. That year Grant won the Census Bureau's agreement that a married woman could use her birth surname as her official or real name in the census. (The New York Times, 10 Apr 1950).[3]

With the backing of Raoul Fleischmann, Grant and Ross established The New Yorker in 1925. As editor, Ross is credited with driving the success of the magazine, however Ross is quoted saying the magazine would not have been a success without Jane's contribution. Grant was chiefly a business and content consultant for the magazine and initially helped to gather investments towards starting the magazine. She brought her friend Janet Flanner into the magazine's coterie of correspondents, commissioning her enduring Letter from Paris column.[4] The feature continues to be published today, although it now includes many other cities. Grant later produced a special overseas issue for the armed forces during World War II.[1]

Ross and Grant divorced in 1929 after nine years of marriage.

During World War II, Grant wrote for several magazines, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The New Yorker.[1] Grant wrote Confession of a Feminist for American Mercury in 1943. In the essay, she describes the experience of being a feminist, recounting her early career as a woman reporter among men for the Times and exploring discriminatory laws and practices.[5] Grant continued to be active in feminist causes, reactivating the Lucy Stone League and expanding its purpose. She continued to work for the rights of women into the 1960s, advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and serving on the National Council of Women.

In 1939, she married William B. Harris, the editor of Fortune magazine. She and Harris moved from Manhattan to Litchfield, Connecticut. The couple founded White Flower Farm out of a barn on their property. In the 1950s, they started a successful mail-order business for home gardening.

In 1968, Grant published a memoir about her life entitled Ross, The New Yorker and Me (Reynal and Co., 1968 New York City). She was encouraged to do so by her second husband, William Harris, and ultimately dedicated the book to him.

Grant died in 1972 on the Connecticut farm she shared with her husband. Harris sold the nursery to its current owner, Eliot Wadsworth, in 1976.


In 1974, Harris was approached for an endowment by the University of Oregon. After a visit to the school, he agreed to fund a center that engaged in research on women and gender studies. In 1976, Harris donated Jane Grant's papers to the university.[1] Upon his death in 1981, he left a $3.5 million bequest in his wife's name to establish the Center for the Study of Women in Society.

Grant was portrayed by the actress Martha Plimpton in the 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.[6]


  • Ross, The New Yorker, and Me (New York: Reynal, 1968 (ASIN B000K01216)).
  • Confession of a Feminist. The American Mercury, vol. LVII, no. 240, Dec., 1943, pp. 684–691.
  • I Saw What I Could (unpublished account of her travels in the Soviet Union, held at the University of Oregon)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Guide to the Jane C. Grant papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries". Northwest Digital Archives. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Jane Grant". Center for the Study of Women in Society. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  3. ^ Stannard, Una (1977). Mrs Man. GermainBooks, San Francisco. ISBN 0-914142-02-X, p. 262.
  4. ^ "Jane Grant, 'The New Yorker', and the Oregon legacy of a Twentieth-Century Feminist (1999)". Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  5. ^ Grant, Jane. "Confession of a Feminist." The American Mercury, vol. LVII, no. 240, Dec., 1943, pp. 684–691.
  6. ^ Internet Movie Database entry for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle

Further reading

External links

Algonquin Round Table

The Algonquin Round Table was a group of New York City writers, critics, actors, and wits. Gathering initially as part of a practical joke, members of "The Vicious Circle", as they dubbed themselves, met for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until roughly 1929. At these luncheons they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay, and witticisms that, through the newspaper columns of Round Table members, were disseminated across the country.

Daily association with each other, both at the luncheons and outside of them, inspired members of the Circle to collaborate creatively. The entire group worked together successfully only once, however, to create a revue called No Sirree! which helped launch a Hollywood career for Round Tabler Robert Benchley.

In its ten years of association, the Round Table and a number of its members acquired national reputations, both for their contributions to literature and for their sparkling wit. Although some of their contemporaries, and later in life even some of its members, disparaged the group, its reputation has endured long after its dissolution.

Cat Grant

Catherine Jane Grant (known as Cat Grant) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Tracy Scoggins played her in the series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In the series Supergirl, she was portrayed by Calista Flockhart.

Center for the Study of Women in Society

The Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS) at the University of Oregon in the United States supports feminist research, teaching, activism and creativity. Established in 1973, it is a non-profit partnership between the Associated Students of the University of Oregon Women's Center and the University. According to the Handbook of Gender, Work, and Organization, CSWS is "a major feminist center for scholarship on gender and women".

Charisma Carpenter

Charisma Carpenter (born July 23, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Cordelia Chase in the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–1999) and its spin-off series Angel (1999–2004). She has also starred as Kyra on Charmed (2004), Kendall Casablancas on Veronica Mars (2005–2006), Rebecca Sewell on The Lying Game (2012–2013) and Lacy in The Expendables film series (2010–2012).

Corn cookie

A corn cookie (or maize cookie) is a type of cookie prepared with corn products. In the United States and Indonesia, it is a type of sugar cookie. Rather than wheat flour, which is commonly used in the preparation of cookies, the corn cookie takes its color and flavor from corn products such as cornmeal.Like their traditional counterparts, corn cookies are often flavored with various herbs, spices, and fruits including lemon verbena, apricot, and rosemary. In addition to baking, corn cookies can also be prepared by using batter for making cornbread and cooking it on a hot griddle.Corn cookies have been prepared by the Sioux Indians in South Dakota due to the abundance of corn in that state.

David Watson (general)

Major-General Sir David Watson, (7 February 1869 – 19 February 1922) was a Canadian journalist, newspaper owner, and General.

Born in Quebec City, Quebec, the son of William Watson and Jane Grant, Watson was a journalist with the Quebec Morning Chronicle (later called just Quebec Chronicle). He later became general manager of the paper and general manager of its publisher.

He started his military career as a private in the 8th Regiment, Royal Rifles. He was promoted to lieutenant and then to captain in 1903, major in 1910, and lieutenant-colonel in 1912. In 1914, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was soon given command of the 2nd Battalion, CEF. He was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1915 and took command of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. He was promoted to Major-General and took command of the 4th Canadian Division upon its creation in 1916. He led his various commands in most of the major Canadian battles of World War I including Second Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, Second Arras, and Cambrai.

In late 1917, he and Victor Odlum saved their commanding officer, Arthur Currie, from a career-ending charge of embezzlement by lending Currie enough money so that he could repay a large sum he had borrowed from regimental funds before the war.After the war, he resumed his job at the Quebec Chronicle and became the majority owner. He was also chairman of the Quebec Harbour Commission. He died in 1922.

Donald Archibald

Donald Archibald (August 16, 1840 – September 1908) was a farmer and political figure in Nova Scotia. He represented Halifax County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1871 to 1878 as a Liberal member.

He was born in Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia, the son of Matthew Archibald and Jane Grant, and worked on the family farm for seven years after leaving school at the age of thirteen. Archibald spent two years prospecting for gold in the province before purchasing his own farm. In 1865, he married Grizell McLachlan. He was named a justice of the peace and served on the council for Halifax County, being chosen as county warden in 1881. He was unsuccessful in a bid for reelection to the provincial assembly in 1878. He died in Halifax at the age of 68.

Georgina Cookson

Antoinette Georgina Cookson (19 December 1918 – 1 October 2011) was a British film, stage and television actress. She died in Sydney, aged 92, on 1 October 2011.

Harold Ross

Harold Wallace Ross (November 6, 1892 – December 6, 1951) was an American journalist who co-founded The New Yorker magazine in 1925 and served as its editor-in-chief from its inception until his death.

James A. Macdonald

James Alexander Macdonald (January 22, 1862 – May 14, 1923) was a Canadian newspaper editor, minister, educator and author.

He was born in East Williams Township, Upper Canada, the son of John Alexander Macdonald and Jane Grant, and was educated there, in Hamilton, in Toronto and at the University of Toronto. Macdonald continued his studied at Knox College, where he became editor of the Knox College Monthly. After graduating in 1887, he continued to be editor and also served as college librarian. In 1890, Macdonald married Grace Lumsden Christian. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1891 and assigned to Knox Presbyterian Church in St. Thomas. In 1896, Macdonald was named principal of Presbyterian Ladies' College in Toronto. He also became editor of a new Presbyterian monthly, the Westminster. In 1902, Macdonald also became editor of a new weekly Presbyterian. In 1903, he became editor of the Globe, continuing in that role until 1915. Macdonald also served as a director of the Canadian Associated Press and for the University of Toronto, as a trustee for the Toronto General Hospital. A pacifist, he was a director of the World Peace Foundation and participated in rallies against American involvement in World War I. Later concluding that German aggression needed to be stopped, Macdonald emphasized that the intent of war should be to restore peace. He died in Toronto at the age of 61.Macdonald published two collections of essays, Democracy and the Nations in 1915 and The North American Idea in 1917, proposing closer ties between Canada and the United States. In the latter year he suffered from both physical and mental breakdowns. These events caused his retirement.

Janet Flanner

Janet Flanner (March 13, 1892 – November 7, 1978) was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name "Genêt". She also published a single novel, The Cubical City, set in New York City.

Lucy Stone League

The Lucy Stone League is a women’s rights organization founded in 1921. Its motto is "A wife should no more take her husband's name than he should hers. My name is my identity and must not be lost." It was the first group to fight for women to be allowed to keep their maiden name after marriage—and to use it legally.It was among the first feminist groups to arise from the suffrage movement and gained attention for seeking and preserving women's own-name rights, such as the particular ones which follow in this article.

The group took its name from Lucy Stone (1818–1893), the first married woman in the United States to carry her birth name through life (she married in 1855). The New York Times called the group the "Maiden Namers." They held their first meetings, debates, and functions at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, including the founding meeting on 17 May 1921.The founder of the Lucy Stone League was Ruth Hale, a New York City journalist and critic. The wife of New York World columnist Heywood Broun, Ruth Hale challenged in federal court any government edict that would not recognize a married woman (such as herself) by the name she chose to use. The only one in her household called Mrs. Heywood Broun was the cat.The League became so well known that a new term, Lucy Stoner, came into common use, meaning anyone who advocates that a wife be allowed to keep and use her own name. This term was eventually included in dictionaries. Women who choose not to use their husbands' surnames have also been called Lucy Stoners.

Maiden and married names

When a person (traditionally the wife in many cultures) assumes the family name of his or her spouse, that name replaces the person's birth surname, which in the case of the wife is called the maiden name (birth name is also used as a gender-neutral or masculine substitute for maiden name), whereas a married name is a family name or surname adopted by a person upon marriage.

In some jurisdictions, changing one's name requires a legal procedure. Nevertheless, in some jurisdictions anyone who either marries or divorces may change his or her name. Due to increasing security and identification needs, even where it is legal, the common law method is now rarely accepted except at marriage (especially for women). Traditionally, in the Anglophone West only women change their names on marriage, but in some instances men may change their last names upon marriage as well, including same-sex married couples.In the United States, only eight states have an official name change for a man as part of their marriage process, and in others a man may petition a court or—where not prohibited—use the common law method (though government agencies sometimes do not recognize this procedure for men). Due to the widespread practice of women changing their names at marriage, they encounter little difficulty using the common law method at marriage in those jurisdictions that permit it.In the remainder of this article, birth name, family name, surname, married name and maiden name refer to patrilineal surnames unless explicitly described as referring to matrilineal surnames.

Mary Seacole

Mary Jane Seacole OM (née Grant; 1805 – 14 May 1881) was a British-Jamaican business woman and nurse who set up the "British Hotel" behind the lines during the Crimean War. She described this as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers", and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004 she was voted the greatest black Briton.She acquired knowledge of herbal medicine in the Caribbean. When the Crimean War broke out, she was one of two outstanding nurses to tend to the wounded, along with Florence Nightingale. Hoping to assist, Seacole applied to the War Office but was refused, so she travelled independently and set up her hotel and tended to the battlefield wounded. She became extremely popular among service personnel, who raised money for her when she faced destitution after the war.

After her death, she was largely forgotten for almost a century but today is celebrated as a woman who made a success of her career, despite experiencing racial prejudice. Her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857), is one of the earliest autobiographies of a mixed-race woman, although some aspects of its accuracy have been questioned by present-day supporters of Nightingale. The erection of a statue of her at St Thomas' Hospital, London on 30 June 2016, describing her as a "pioneer nurse", has generated controversy and opposition from supporters of Nightingale. Earlier controversy broke out in the United Kingdom late in 2012 over reports of a proposal to remove her from the UK's National Curriculum.

Paula Grant-Berry

Paula Grant Berry served on the Selection Jury for the World Trade Center Memorial, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Families Advisory Council. She was a Memorial Program Drafting Committee member.

Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree (born July 9, 1942) is an American actor and former model. Roundtree is noted as being "the first black action hero" for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft, and its sequels, Shaft's Big Score! (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973), along with a cameo appearance as the character in the 2000 film Shaft, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of the original John Shaft. For his performance in Shaft, Roundtree was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor in 1972.

See Jane Date

See Jane Date is a romantic comedy film directed by Robert Berlinger and starring Charisma Carpenter and Holly Marie Combs. It is based on Melissa Senate book of the same name, and was released on August 16, 2003 by ABC Family.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker is an American magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. It is published by Condé Nast. Started as a weekly in 1925, the magazine is now published 47 times annually, with five of these issues covering two-week spans.

Although its reviews and events listings often focus on the cultural life of New York City, The New Yorker has a wide audience outside New York and is read internationally. It is well known for its illustrated and often topical covers, its commentaries on popular culture and eccentric Americana, its attention to modern fiction by the inclusion of short stories and literary reviews, its rigorous fact checking and copy editing, its journalism on politics and social issues, and its single-panel cartoons sprinkled throughout each issue.

William Mellis Christie

William Mellis Christie (5 January 1829 – 14 June 1900) is the namesake for the Canadian Mr. Christie brand of cookies and biscuits.

Christie was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the only child of John Christie and Jane Grant. He apprenticed as a baker before arriving in Canada in 1848.

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