Addison Irving Bacheller (September 26, 1859 – February 24, 1950) was an American journalist and writer who founded the first modern newspaper syndicate in the United States.
Born in Pierrepont, New York, Irving Bacheller graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1882 after which he accepted a job with a New York City newspaper. Two years later, he established a business to provide specialized articles to the major Sunday newspapers. It was through the Bacheller Syndicate that he brought to American readers the writings of British authors such as Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling. And, to the reading public he introduced New Jersey author Stephen Crane through arranging the serialization of his story, The Red Badge of Courage.
Irving Bacheller began writing himself, publishing "The Master of Silence" in 1892 and "Still House of O'Darrow" in 1894. Although he was appointed Sunday editor of the New York World in 1898, he soon chose to pursue a full-time career as a fiction writer and two years later gave up his journalist position. Writing novels primarily concerned with early American life in the North Country of New York State, in 1900 his novel "Eben Holden," subtitled A Tale of the North Country, proved a major success. According to the New York Times, "Eben Holden" was the 4th bestselling novel in the United States in 1900. In 1901 the book was still ranked fifth for the year and his next novel issued that year titled "D'ri and I" was 10th in annual sales. Sixteen years later, Bacheller's work "The Light in the Clearing" was the No.2 best-selling book in America and in 1920, "A Man for the Ages" was fifth.
Although he continued to turn out a string of books, Bacheller also served as a war correspondent in France during World War I. In later years, he served on the board of trustees of both St. Lawrence University and Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where he spent a good part of his final years. In 1940, Rollins College announced the creation of a professorship of creative writing in his name.
Irving Bacheller died in White Plains, New York in 1950. In recent years, several of his works have been reprinted and a previously unpublished manuscript titled Lost in the Fog was published in 1990.