M. H. de Young

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Michael Henry de Young
M. H. de Young 1885.jpg
M. H. de Young and the San Francisco Chronicle in 1885
Born (1849-09-30)September 30, 1849
St. Louis, Missouri
Died February 15, 1925(1925-02-15) (aged 85)
San Francisco, California
Nationality American
Alma mater Heald College
Occupation Newspaper publisher
Years active 1865–1925
Known for Co-founder of San Francisco Chronicle and director of the Associated Press
Spouse(s) Katherine I. Deane
Children Charles de Young
Helen de Young Cameron
Constance de Young Tobin
Kathleen de Young Thieriot
Phyllis de Young Tucker
Parent(s) Miechel de Young
Amelia Morange
Relatives Charles de Young (brother)

Michael Henry "M. H." de Young (September 30, 1849 – February 15, 1925) was an American journalist and businessman.

Early life[edit]

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),[1] who was a jeweler and dry-goods merchant. The family was Jewish, and immigrated from the Netherlands and France.[2][3] His maternal grandfather, Benjamin Morange, served as the Minister from France to Spain under Napoleon.[4] De Young moved with his family to San Francisco, California while he was still young. He attended and graduated from Heald College, a San Francisco college founded in 1863.


In San Francisco, de Young 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.

After his death in 1925, his son-in-law George Toland Cameron, became publisher and president of the Chronicle Publishing Company.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

De Young and his wife Katherine had five children:[1]

  • Charles de Young (1881-1913)
  • Helen de Young (1883-1969), who married George T. Cameron (1873-1955)[7]
  • Constance Marie de Young (1885-1968), who married Joseph Oliver Tobin (1878-1978)[8]
  • Kathleen Yvonne de Young (1888-1954), who married Ferdinand Thieriot (1883-1920)[9]
  • Phyllis D. de Young (1892-1988), who married Nion Robert Tucker (1885-1950)[10]

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[11] (he had converted to Catholicism after marrying his wife, Katherine I. Deane).[12]


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, red garnets, 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.[13]


Max Thieriot in 2013
Nan Tucker McEvoy

In 1956, one of De Young's grandsons, Ferdinand Melly Thieriot (1921-1956), the circulation director of The Chronicle, and his wife Frances (1921-1956), were among the 46 killed aboard the SS Andrea Doria when it was struck by the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket.[14] Their 13-year-old son Peter survived.[15]

De Young was the grandfather of Nan Tucker McEvoy (1919-2015), former chair of Chronicle Publishing Company's board of directors until the 1990s.[16] He is also the great-great-grandfather of actor Max Thieriot (born 1988),[17]


  1. ^ a b Edwards, Bobb. "Michael Henry De Young". www.findagrave.com. Find A Grave. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Brechin, Gray (1999). Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin. University of California Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-520-22902-9.  line feed character in |publisher= at position 25 (help)
  4. ^ The Hebrews in America
  5. ^ "George T. Cameron, Late Publisher's Son-in-Law Becomes New Chief of Chronicle". Los Angeles Times. February 19, 1925. Retrieved 2016-07-27. George T. Cameron, son-in-law of the late Mr. H. de Young, will announce in tomorrow morning's issue of the San Francisco Chronicle that he will assume charge of that newspaper with the title of publisher and president of the Chronicle Publishing Company. 
  6. ^ Hart, James David (1987). A Companion to California. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520055445. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "HELEN DE YOUNG TO WED CLUBMAN Engagement to George Cameron Causes Stir in Social Circles". San Francisco Call (Volume 104, Number 3). 3 June 1908. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Sward, Susan (25 June 2008). "S.F. philanthropist Nini Tobin Martin dies". SF Gate. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Harvard College (1906). Harvard College Class of 1906 Secretary's Third Report. Cambridge, MA: Crimson Printing Company. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  10. ^ Press, Associated (30 June 1988). "Obituaries: Phyllis de Young Tucker; S.F. Publishing Family Member". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Publisher of San Francisco Chronicle Buried With Simplest Rites". New York Times. February 19, 1925. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  12. ^ Gale, Robert L. (2001). An Ambrose Bierce companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 79. ISBN 0-313-31130-7. 
  13. ^ The Mineral Collector. Volume I, number 11, January 1895. Page 173.
  14. ^ Samuel Halpern, An Objective Forensic Analysis of the Collision Between Stockholm and Andrea Doria
  15. ^ Genzano DeCastro, Joann. "Ferdinand M. "Pete" Thieriot". www.findagrave.com. Find A Grave. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (27 March 2015). "Nan Tucker McEvoy, Heiress Who Ran San Francisco Chronicle, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  17. ^ Q&A: Feeling the “Disconnect” with Actor Max Thieriot

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