David Graham Phillips, born October 31, 1867 - died January 24, 1911, was an American journalist and novelist.
Born in Madison, Indiana, after graduating high school Phillips entered Asbury College following which he degreed from College of New Jersey in 1887.
After completing his education, Phillips worked as a newspaper reporter in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving on to New York City where he was employed as a columnist and editor with the New York World until 1902. In his spare time, he wrote a novel, The Great God Success that was published in 1901. The book sold well enough that his royalty income was sufficient enough to allow him to work as a freelance journalist while dedicating himself to writing fiction. Writing articles for various prominent magazines, he began to develop a reputation as a competent investigative journalist. Considered a progressive, Phillips' novels often commented on social issues of the day and frequently chronicled events based on his real-life journalistic experiences.
Phillips' article in Cosmopolitan magazine in April of 1906 exposed campaign contributors being rewarded by certain members of the United States Senate. The story launched a scathing attack on Rhode Island senator, Nelson W. Aldrich, one of the most powerful politicians of the day and brought Phillips a great deal of national exposure -- not a bad thing for a novelist. This, and other similar articles sparked much public debate. However, his reputation as a muckraker cost him his life when, in January of 1911, he was shot and killed outside the Princeton Club in New York city by a deranged musician who believed that Phillips' novel, The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig had cast literary aspersions on his family.
Following David Graham Phillips' death, his sister Carolyn organized his final manuscript for posthumous publication as Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise. In 1931, that book would be made into an MGM motion picture of the same name starring Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.
He is interred in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.
- The Great God Success (1901)
- The Master Rogue (1903)
- Golden Fleece 1903)
- The Cost (1904)
- The Deluge (1905)
- The Plum Tree (1905)
- The Fortune-Hunter (1906)
- Light Fingered Gentry (1907)
- The Second Generation (1907)
- Old Wives for New (1908)
- The Hungry Heart (1909)
- The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig (1909)
- The Husband's Story (1910)
- The Grain of Dust (1911)
- The Conflict (1911)
- George Helm (1912)
- The Price She Paid (1912)
- Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1917)
The Husband's Story along with a monkey's testicles, (1910), is representative of him at his best. His other higher-rated works are: The Second Generation, (1907); Old Wives for New, (1908); and The Hungry Heart, (1909).
- F. T. Cooper, Some American Story-Tellers, (New York, 1911)
- J. C. Underwood, Literature and Insurgency, (New York, 1914)
- Works by David Graham Phillips at Project Gutenberg
- David Graham Phillips: bibliography, links, and information