M. H. de Young
|M. H. de Young|
M. H. de Young and the San Francisco Chronicle in 1885
|Born||Michael Henry de Young
September 30, 1849
St. Louis, Missouri
|Died||February 15, 1925
San Francisco, California
|Alma mater||Heald College|
|Known for||Co-founder of San Francisco Chronicle and director of the Associated Press|
|Spouse(s)||Katherine I. Deane|
|Relatives||Charles de Young (brother)|
De Young was born in St. Louis, Missouri. The family was Jewish, and immigrated from the Netherlands and France. He was the son of Cornelia "Amelia" (née Morange; 1809-1881) and Miechel de Young (d. 1854), who married in 1837. His maternal grandfather, Benjamin Morange, who served as the French Minister to Spain under Napoleon I, moved to the United States about 1815 and helped found the B'nai Jeshurun Congregation in New York in 1825.
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.
De Young and his wife Katherine had five children:
- Charles de Young (1881–1913)
- Helen de Young (1883–1969), who married George T. Cameron (1873–1955)
- Constance Marie de Young (1885–1968), who married Joseph Oliver Tobin (1878–1978)
- Kathleen Yvonne de Young (1888–1954), who married Ferdinand Thieriot (1883–1920)
- Phyllis D. de Young (1892–1988), who married Nion Robert Tucker (1885–1950)
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).
The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which originally opened in 1895, is named in his honor. De Young helped develop the gem collection for what became California’s first museum in 1894. After visiting New York, in the capacity of Director-General of the San Francisco Midwinter Fair, which grew out of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894, de Young used a $200,000 surplus as a fund for the establishment of a memorial museum. He purchased many things of "curious and artistic and instructive value". The collection of precious stones, which were made by George Frederick Kunz of Tiffany & Co. included diamonds, topazes, opals, red garnets, turquoises, emeralds, and arid rubies, as well as lesser known jewels including asteriated diamonds, alexandrites from Russia, ruby spinels from Burmah, beryls from the Ural Mountains, and Spessartines from Brazil.
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.
De Young was the grandfather of Nan Tucker McEvoy (1919–2015), former chair of Chronicle Publishing Company's board of directors until the 1990s. He is also the great-great-grandfather of actor Max Thieriot (born 1988),
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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.
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