Victor Lawson

Victor Fremont Lawson (September 9, 1850 – August 19, 1925) was an American newspaper publisher who headed the Chicago Daily News from 1876 to 1925.[2] Lawson was president of the Associated Press from 1894 to 1900, and was on the board of directors from 1900 to 1925. Outside of the newspaper business, he was involved in various philanthropic causes in Chicago.[2]

Victor Lawson, 1925[1]


He was born in Chicago on September 9, 1850 to Iver Lawson (1822–72) and Melinda (Nordvig) Lawson (1827-1896).[3] He had a brother, Iver Norman Lawson (1865-1937).[4]

He died of a heart attack in 1925 in Chicago.[5][6][7] He was interred at Chicago's Graceland Cemetery where his grave is marked with a sculpture of a medieval knight designed by Lorado Taft.[8] [9]


Lawson's family grew rich from real estate dealings in Chicago, and held stakes in a Norwegian-language newspaper called the Skandinaven.[2] The Chicago Daily News, founded by Melville E. Stone, Percy Meggy and William Dougherty in 1875,[10] was a tenant in the same building as the Skandinaven. The Daily News was struggling, but Victor Lawson decided to invest in it in July 1876, becoming its manager. Within twenty years, its circulation grew to 200,000 people. Lawson mainly focused on the business aspects of the paper, while Stone and others worked as editors. Helping to fuel the paper's success was Lawson's ability to attract advertisers. Lawson provided clear circulation figures to businesses and promised consistent rates for advertisements.[2]

Chicago, Illinois The Crusader1
The Crusader by Lorado Taft marks Lawson's grave

The Daily News employed Eugene Field, one of the first major newspaper columnists, and contained a mix of fiction, household advice, and reports on city happenings. David Paul Nord writes, "It was quintessentially an urban newspaper, committed to private business but also to activist government, to social welfare, and to the broad public life of the city. It was a progenitor of the kind of progressive reform politics that came to flower in many cities during the early twentieth century." In 1898, Lawson founded an early foreign news service, which became a key component of the Daily News.[2] [11]


  1. ^ Donovan, Henry. "Chicago Eagle". Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e David Paul Nord. "Lawson, Victor Fremont". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. February 2000. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  3. ^ "Victor Freemont Lawson". Chicago, Illinois: Newberry Library. Retrieved 2013-11-17. Victor Freemont Lawson was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 9, 1850. His father, Iver Lawson, was a Norwegian immigrant, a laborer who came to prosperity buying and selling real estate in Chicago during the mid 1800s. Little is known about his mother Melinda Nordvig ...
  4. ^ "Iver N. Lawson. Brother of Late Chicago Publisher Dies Here of Pneumonia". New York Times. April 2, 1937. Retrieved 2013-11-17. Iver N. Lawson, brother of the late Victor F. Lawson, editor and publisher of The Chicago Daily News, died Wednesday night in St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 72.
  5. ^ "V.F. Lawson Dies From Heart Attack. Publisher of Chicago Daily News Expires Suddenly in His Home. Edited Paper 49 Years. Was a Founder of The Associated Press". Associated Press in the New York Times. August 20, 1925. Retrieved 2013-11-17. Victor F. Lawson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Dally News, died at his home here tonight after an illness of two days.
  6. ^ "Victor Lawson, Famous Chicago Publisher, Dies". Pittsburgh Press. August 20, 1925. Retrieved 2013-11-17. Lawson was just well started on the fiftieth year of his work as publisher of the ... father was Iver Lawson who came to Chicago from western Norway. ...
  7. ^ "Victor F. Lawson is dead". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 20, 1925.
  8. ^ Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski. Graveyards of Chicago. Lake Claremont Press, 1999. 21.
  9. ^ Wendy K. Koenig and Christine Badowski (August 29, 2013). "The Crusader: Victor Lawson Monument". Chicago Public Art. Retrieved November 20, 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  10. ^ David Paul Nord. "Stone, Melville Elijah." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. February 2000. Retrieved on October 15, 2011.
  11. ^ John Maxwell Hamilton (2009). "Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting, page 158-170" (PDF). Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved November 20, 2015.

Further reading

  • Abramoske, Donald J. "The Founding of the Chicago Daily News." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1966): 341-353. in JSTOR
  • Cole, Jaci, and John Maxwell Hamilton. "A Natural History of Foreign Correspondence: A Study of the Chicago Daily News, 1900-1921." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (2007) 84#1 pp: 151-166.
  • Dennis, Charles Henry. Victor Lawson: his time and his work (1935; reprint Greenwood Press, 1968); 471pp; scholarly biography
  • Sawyers, June Skinner; Rick Kogan (2012) Chicago Portraits: New Edition (Northwestern University Press) ISBN 978-0810126497

External links

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Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. Its members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its standards and practices.The AP has earned 52 Pulitzer Prizes, including 31 for photography, since the award was established in 1917.

The AP has counted the vote in U.S. elections since 1848, including national, state and local races down to the legislative level in all 50 states, along with key ballot measures. AP collects and verifies returns in every county, parish, city and town across the U.S., and declares winners in over 5,000 contests.

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Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States' primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as the BBC, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.

Chicago Daily News

The Chicago Daily News was an afternoon daily newspaper in the midwestern United States, published between 1876 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois.

Iver Lawson (publisher)

Iver Lawson (December 21, 1821 – October 5, 1871) was a Norwegian-American real estate investor and newspaper publisher. Together with John Anderson and Knud Langeland, he was the founder of the Skandinaven newspaper in Chicago.

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List of Art Deco architecture

This is a list of buildings that are examples of Art Deco.

List of Norwegian Americans

This is a list of notable Norwegian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

The list is ordered by category of human endeavour. Persons with significant contributions in two fields are listed in both of the pertinent categories, to facilitate easy lookup.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Norwegian American or must have references showing they are Norwegian American and are notable.

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Propaganda of the Spanish–American War

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Sidney Port

Sidney L. Port, (March 7, 1911 – June 11, 2007) was a philanthropist, a lawyer and high school and college basketball player. Port grew up in his father's downtown Chicago hotel, Antlers Hotel, at Clark and Lake Street. He started an industrial repair and maintenance parts company called Lawson Products in 1952.


Skandinaven was a Norwegian language newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois from 1866 until 1941.

The Crusader (sculpture)

The Crusader, also known as the Victor Lawson Monument, is a memorial marking the grave of Chicago newspaper publisher Victor Lawson. It is in Chicago's historic Graceland Cemetery and was designed by American sculptor Lorado Taft in 1931.

Victor F. Lawson House YMCA

The Victor F. Lawson House is a historic former YMCA building located at 30 W. Chicago Avenue in the Near North Side neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The building was built in 1931 for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, which was established in 1858 and had grown considerably during the 1920s. It was named for newspaperman Victor Lawson, one of the YMCA's largest donors until his death in 1925. The architecture firm of Perkins, Chatten & Hammond designed the 24-story building in the Art Deco style. The YMCA used the new building to provide affordable housing and community services during the Great Depression, including family programs that were copied in other cities, and the building became the headquarters of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago after World War II.The building was sold to Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. for $1 in 2014 on the condition that it will continue providing affordable housing on this property for at least 50 years. Lawson House was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 2017.

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