M. H. de Young
Life and career
De Young was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Amelia (née Morange) and Miechel de Young (possibly originally De Jong or De Jongh), who was a jeweler and dry-goods merchant. The family was Jewish, and immigrated from the Netherlands and France. His maternal grandfather, Benjamin Morange, served as the Minister from France to Spain under Napoleon. De Young moved with his family to San Francisco, California while he was still young. There, he and his brother, Charles de Young (1845–1880), founded the Daily Dramatic Chronicle newspaper, first published on January 16, 1865. The Chronicle was the predecessor of the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco's only remaining daily broadsheet newspaper. De Young was also the director of the Associated Press for many years. De Young was a Heald College graduate.
In 1884, he was shot by an irate businessman, Adolph B. Spreckels, apparently due to a negative newspaper article, but survived. M. H. de Young died on February 15, 1925 and a Catholic church mass was held in St. Mary's Cathedral (he had converted to Catholicism after marrying his wife, Katherine I. Deane).
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The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is named in his honor. He helped develop the gem collection for California’s first museum in 1894: "There is now on its way from New York to San Francisco the nucleus of what is destined to be San Francisco's first public museum. It has been purchased by M. H. De Young, the proprietor of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has visited New York in the capacity of Director-General of the San Francisco Midwinter Fair, the project of the museum having grown out of the unlooked-for results of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. The fair proved a great commercial as well as industrial success, and the Board of Directors has something like a $200,000 surplus. This surplus it was determined to use as a fund for the establishment of a memorial museum, and Mr. De Young was deputed to visit New York and buy here whatever of curious and artistic and instructive value was available and within the funds at command. In that pleasant work the proprietor of San Francisco Chronicle has spent the last two or three weeks-and a good many thousands of dollars. The collection of precious stones which has gone to San Francisco was made by Mr. George Frederick Kunz of Tiffany & Co., and includes not only examples of such well-known jewels as diamonds, topazes, opals, carbuncles, turquoises, emeralds, arid rubies, but also such rarely heard of stones as asteriated diamonds, alexandrites from Russia, ruby spinels from Burmah, beryls from the Ural Mountains, and Spessartines from Brazil. Then there are monster stones, such as a Carbuncle (gemstone) with facets an inch and a half across, a golden brown topaz as big as a small cocoanut, and a mass of health-giving amber gum as large as one's hand. Such departures from the regular specimens of gems as blue topazes, black and purple pearls, and blue diamonds, and such wonders of nature and art as a saurian’s jawbone converted into jaspers, a string of amber beads, each with its fly, fresh water pearls, agatized wood, Persian turquoises with amulets of gold-filled texts from the Koran.-New York Sun.
De Young was the great-great-grandfather of actor Max Thieriot, and the grandfather of Nan Tucker McEvoy, former chair of Chronicle Publishing Company's board of directors until the 1990s.
- Adams, Charles F. (2005). Murder By The Bay: Historic Homicide In And About The City Of San Francisco. San Francisco: Quill Driver Books. p. 59. ISBN 1-884995-46-2.
- Brechin, Gray (1999). Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin. University of California Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-520-22902-9.
- "Publisher of San Francisco Chronicle Buried With Simplest Rites". New York Times. February 19, 1925. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- Gale, Robert L. (2001). An Ambrose Bierce companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 79. ISBN 0-313-31130-7.
- The Mineral Collector. Volume I, number 11, January 1895. Page 173.