Bryant circa 1917
|Born||Anna Louisa Mohan
December 5, 1885
San Francisco, California
|Died||January 6, 1936
|Spouse(s)||Paul Trullinger (1909)
John Reed (c 1917)
William Christian Bullitt, Jr. (1924)
|Relatives||Sheridan Bryant, stepfather|
Louise Bryant (December 5, 1885 – January 6, 1936) was an American journalist and writer. She was best known for her Marxist and anarchist beliefs and her essays on radical political and feminist themes. Bryant published articles in several radical left journals during her life, including Alexander Berkman's The Blast.
Bryant was born Anna Louisa Mohan in San Francisco, California. Her father, Hugh Mohan was a coal miner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who made his way west with the Railroad crews. Her mother remarried Sheridan Bryant and Louise took her stepfather's name. The family moved to Nevada where Louise was a student at the University of Nevada. She later moved to the University of Oregon in Eugene. Her senior thesis was about the Modoc Indian War of Southern Oregon and was completed in 1908. Bryant returned to San Francisco to become a journalist after graduation but was soon nudged, for financial reasons, to teach school in Salinas, California in her words "in a remote area, forty miles from a train station". She also wrote that "Mexicans and Spaniards are my students." She moved back to Oregon and became involved with the Suffrage Movement in Portland, worked for the Spectator, and married Paul Trullinger.
Bryant met journalist John Reed in Portland, Oregon while he was visiting his family after attending Harvard and moving in radical circles of the Village in New York City. Louise moved with him to New York City, and amicably divorced Trullinger several months later. Reed and Bryant together traveled to Russia in 1917 where they witnessed the October Revolution. They both attended the first Bolshevik political trial, that of Sofia Panina. Both published books about their experiences in Russia, Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World and Bryant's Six Red Months in Russia. Bryant was with Reed when he died of typhus in 1920. He is the only American to be buried at the Kremlin in Moscow. Their story is told in the 1981 film Reds, starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, and Jack Nicholson.
In a 1920 letter to a friend, Bryant spoke of her typhus-stricken husband's death in Moscow and how she watched Soviet citizens pass his grave:
- "I have been there in the busy afternoon when all Russia hurries by," she wrote. "Once some of the soldiers came over to the grave. They took off their hats and spoke very reverently: 'What a good fellow he was!' said one. 'He came all the way across the world for us. He was one of ours.'"
Louise Bryant continued to work following her second husband's death and became a leading reporter for the Hearst newspaper chain. After Reed's death, Bryant married William C. Bullitt in early 1924. The couple had one child, Anne. Becoming ill with what was diagnosed in 1928 as adiposis dolorosa, "Dercum's Disease", and despite several treatments including stays at Dr. Dengler's Sanatorium in Baden Baden, Germany and a few sessions with Sigmund Freud in 1929, Bryant continued efforts to be a wife, mother, and writer. Bullitt divorced Bryant in 1930, upon learning of her alleged lesbian affairs in Paris.
Death and legacy
Upon her death, Bryant's personal papers were transferred to Bullitt, where they remained until their daughter Anne donated Bullitt's papers to his alma mater Yale University in 2004. Upon preparing them for transport to Yale, Bryant's papers were discovered amidst Bullitt's, and they currently reside in Sterling Memorial Library at Yale.
- "Louise Bryant, 41, Journalist; Widow of John Reed, Ex-Wife of Ambassador Bullitt, Stricken in Paris. Was a Communist Leader. Reported Early Days of Russian Revolution. Interviewed all the Soviet Leaders.". New York Times. January 10, 1936, Friday.
- from the University of Oregon archives and upcoming Auto/Biography of Louise Bryant (2010, collected by antoinette nora claypoole) www.louisebryantbook.blogspot.com
- Louise Bryant Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University
|Library resources about
|By Louise Bryant|
- Mary V. Dearborn, Queen of Bohemia (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996), hardcover, 365 pages, ISBN 0-395-68396-3
- Virginia Gardner. Friend and Lover: The Life of Louise Bryant (New York: Horizon Press, 1982)
- Eric Homberger. John Reed (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990)
- Louise Bryant. Six Red Months in Russia New York: George H. Doran Company, 1918(Powells.com, 2002)
- Louise Bryant. Mirrors of Moscow (Hyperion Books 1973)
- Antoinette Nora Claypoole, "Watersongs Project" introduction to the upcoming book Bronzed Flower Revival: the Auto/Biography of Louise Bryant
- A character with passing similarities appears in HBO's Boardwalk Empire Season 2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Louise Bryant.|
- The Louise Bryant archive
- Greene's Louise Bryant
- Glossary of people
- The Louise Bryant Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
- Munk, Michael. Louise Bryant in the Oregon Encyclopedia
- "Introduction to The Auto/Biography of Louise Bryant"
- "Letter to Literature of the Revolution" Magazine Editor" by Louise Bryant