John Stewart Bryan

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Not to be confused with his grandson John Stewart Bryan, III, also a newspaper publisher.
John Stewart Bryan
John Stewart Bryan.jpg
Bryan pictured in The Colonial Echo 1935, William and Mary yearbook
19th President of the
College of William & Mary
In office
1934–1942
Preceded by J. A. C. Chandler
Succeeded by John Edwin Pomfret
Personal details
Born (1871-10-23)October 23, 1871
Henrico County, Virginia
Died October 16, 1944(1944-10-16) (aged 72)
Richmond, Virginia
Alma mater University of Virginia
Harvard University

John Stewart Bryan (October 23, 1871 – October 16, 1944) was the member of a prominent Virginia newspaper family and was the nineteenth president of the College of William and Mary, serving from 1934 to 1942.[1][2] He also served as the fourth American chancellor of the College from 1942 to 1944.

Prior to his service as president of the College of William and Mary, Bryan served as the publisher of Richmond Times-Dispatch and the president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association.[3]

Heritage[edit]

In 1871, John Stewart Bryan was born in Henrico County, VA to an affluent southern family. Bryan's great grandfather Joseph Bryan had been a congressman from Georgia from 1803 to 1806.[4] His grandfather John Randolph Bryan was tutored by his namesake John Randolph[disambiguation needed] of Virginia and ultimately relocated his family to Gloucester County, Virginia and then Fluvanna County, Virginia.[5] John Stewart Bryan's father served in the Civil War before completing his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1868.[6] By the time John Stewart Bryan was born, his father Joseph Bryan had taken on Richmond tobacco magnate Lewis Ginter as a legal client.[7] In 1887, Bryan's father purchased the Daily Times newspaper (a forerunner of today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch and Media General Corporation) from Ginter.[8]

Early career[edit]

While his father ran the fledgling Times newspaper, the younger Bryan graduated in 1893 from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and obtained a law degree from Harvard University in 1897.[9] After a brief stint as a lawyer in New York, he returned to Richmond in 1898 to form a joint practice with Murray Mason McGuire.[10] He then quit law to work for his father's newspaper company in 1900.[11]

As newspaperman[edit]

Through a series of newspaper mergers and acquisitions, Joseph Bryan became the owner of both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Richmond News Leader. When Joseph Bryan died in 1908, John Stewart Bryan took over as president of both newspapers. He sold off the Times-Dispatch in 1914 but retained ownership of the News Leader.[12]

By 1927, John Stewart Bryan had become the president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association.[13] He partnered with Chicago newspaperman Samuel Emory Thomason[14] to purchase The Tampa Tribune for $900,000.[15]

College of William and Mary[edit]

In 1926 Bryan became a member of the board of visitors of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. Early in the 1930s, as vice rector, he served under the erratic leadership of President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler. Following Chandler's death, the board named Bryan president of the college on June 30, 1934.[16]

Bryan became the nineteenth president of the College of William and Mary, serving until 1942.[17] He also served as the fourth American chancellor of the College from 1942 to 1944.

In addition to the financial struggles of the Great Depression, Bryan's tenure was also marked by the recent establishment and beginnings of Colonial Williamsburg. Largely thanks to the vision of a William and Mary instructor, Reverend Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin and the substantial financial support from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the William and Mary Campus had seen substantial construction on campus from 1928 to 1932, as historic buildings were restored to their 18th century appearance. Significant campus construction continued under Bryan, including the 1935, Sunken Garden designed by Charles M. Robinson.

His papers from his service as president and chancellor of the College of William and Mary are held by the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary.[18][19]

Later career[edit]

In 1940, towards the end of Bryan's tenure as president of William and Mary, Richmond, Virginia's two newspapers, the Times-Dispatch and News Leader, merged to form Richmond Newspapers a majority of which was owned by the Bryan family. This conglomerate would later be known as Media General.[20]

Death and legacy[edit]

Bryan died in October 16, 1944 leaving the newspapers to his son D. Tennant Bryan.[21]

Other life contributions included:[22]

Bryan Hall, a residence hall on the campus of the College of William and Mary, bears his name, as does the complex of which it is part.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tarter, Brent. "John Stewart Bryan (1871–1944)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "20th Century Presidents". College of William and Mary. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bryan, John Stewart". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  4. ^ http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=lva/vi00170.xml;query=; "Joseph Bryan (1773-1812) of Savannah, Georgia, served as a congressman from 1803 to 1806"
  5. ^ http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=lva/vi00170.xml;query=;
  6. ^ http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=lva/vi00170.xml;query=;
  7. ^ http://friendsofbryanpark.org/naturecenter/eec/park-history/who-was-joseph-bryan/ "One of Mr. Bryan’s legal clients was Richmond tobacco magnate Lewis Ginter"
  8. ^ http://friendsofbryanpark.org/naturecenter/eec/park-history/who-was-joseph-bryan/ "Lewis Ginter, who was responsible for Mr. Bryan’s acquisition of the Richmond Times newspaper (forerunner of today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch and Media General Corporation) in 1887."
  9. ^ http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bryan_John_Stewart_1871-1944#start_entry "In 1894 Bryan began to study law at the University of Virginia, but ... he transferred to Harvard University, ... graduated in 1897. "
  10. ^ 1897: Murray Mason McGuire begins practicing law in Richmond, Virginia. The following year he is joined by John Stewart Bryan. By the 1960s, the firm of McGuire & Bryan has become McGuire, Woods, King, Davis & Patterson.
  11. ^ http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bryan_John_Stewart_1871-1944#start_entry "In 1900 Bryan gave up the law to become a reporter for Joseph Bryan's Richmond Dispatch, and the next year he became vice president of his father's publishing company"
  12. ^ http://mediageneral.com/about/history/index.html "1908 Joseph Bryan purchased The News Leader from Williams and died shortly thereafter. His son John Stewart Bryan succeeded as publisher of the Times-Dispatch and The News Leader. ... 1914 The Times-Dispatch was sold to three families.... John Stewart Bryan was publisher of The News Leader."
  13. ^ Anderson, Anne (2010-03-16). Insiders' Guide® to the Greater Tampa Bay Area: Including Tampa, St. Petersburg, & Clearwater. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 296. ISBN 9780762762309. Enter John Stewart Bryan, from Richmond and by then the president of the American Newspaper publisher's Association 
  14. ^ Anderson, Anne (2010-03-16). Insiders' Guide® to the Greater Tampa Bay Area: Including Tampa, St. Petersburg, & Clearwater. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 296. ISBN 9780762762309. Thompson, previously vice-president and general manager of the Chicago Tribune 
  15. ^ http://mediageneral.com/about/history/index.html "1927 John Stewart Bryan purchased The Tampa Tribune in partnership with Samuel Emory Thomason.""
  16. ^ http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bryan_John_Stewart_1871-1944#start_entry
  17. ^ Tarter, Brent. "John Stewart Bryan (1871–1944)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Office of the President. John Stewart Bryan". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Office of the Chancellor. John Stewart Bryan". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  20. ^ http://mediageneral.com/about/history/index.html "1940 The News Leader and the competing Times-Dispatch formed Richmond Newspapers, Inc. The Bryan family owned 54 percent of the new company while the three families that had owned the Times-Dispatch held a 46 percent interest."
  21. ^ http://mediageneral.com/about/history/index.html "1944: After his father's death, D. Tennant Bryan returned from active duty in the U.S. Navy and was named president and publisher of the Times-Dispatch and The News Leader."
  22. ^ http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Bryan_John_Stewart_1871-1944#start_entry "Civic Work"
  23. ^ http://www.mediageneral.com/about/history/history_john.html "[Bryan was] ... member, Richmond Public Library Board (chairman)"
  24. ^ "William & Mary - Bryan Complex". Wm.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 

External links[edit]