George Ade · 1982

George Ade grew up in Kentland Indiana and attended Purdue University. After graduation, Ade worked for the Lafayette Call for 6 dollars a week.

That paper folded and George Ade made the transition from reporter to salesman for a tobacco based patent medicine but it didn’t last. A college buddy brought him to Chicago where Ade signed on as a cub reporter on the Chicago Morning News. He was assigned to handle weather reports and routine news … but his break came when he was the only reporter on hand when a lake steamer exploded in Chicago harbor. Ade’s story was unique, it was colorful and complete. That success lead to “Stories of the Street and Town” the first daily newspaper column. Ade used that daily strip to talk about real people in real situations in all stations of life with a conversational manner. Ade then branched into national columns, books and plays.

His plays won 2 Pulitzer prizes in 1900. George Ade was making more than a thousand dollars a week and decided to leave the daily grind of journalism. He gave us the techniques of the realist Chicago style of journalism.


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