Leander Richardson

Leander Pease Richardson (February 28, 1856 – February 2, 1918) was an American journalist, playwright, theatrical writer and author.[1]

Early life

Richardson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1856. He was the son of Albert D. Richardson (a journalist and Union spy during the American Civil War), and Mary Louise Pease. The young Richardson was known to be of a "temperamental" disposition from an early age.[2]

Journalism career

When 16, Richardson began working for the Chicago Inter Ocean Newspaper; and later became a European correspondent for the Boston Herald. In addition to other newspaper and magazine posts, he served as managing editor of The Morning Telegraph when that newspaper was first founded.[3][4] He was known for changing jobs often.[2]

In 1884 he founded The Journalist trade magazine with C.A. Byrne.[5]

Later in life, he joined the staff of The New York Times.

Notable interview

In 1876 while in Deadwood (in the Dakota Territory), he happened to interview Wild Bill Hickok the day before his death, and wrote about the event a number of times.[6][7]

Theatrical writer

Richardson was best known as a writer on theatrical topics, which he focused on for thirty years. He also became a playwright, writing seven plays and three books.[1] An early example of this work was the play, Anselma, which opened at New York's Madison Square Theatre in September 1885, for which he was the bookwriter.[8]


Richardson authored several books and short stories[9] based on his travels.


Richardson died of pneumonia in February 1918. His obituary in the Fourth Estate, a journal on the newspaper industry, called Richardson "one of the most widely known dramatic editors in this country."[2]


  1. Leander Richardson Dead. Dramatist and Theatrical Writer a Victim of Pneumonia; article; The New York Times; accessed .
  2. Obituary Notes; February 9, 1918 article; The Fourth Estate; accessed .
  3. American Vaudeville, Its Life and Times; 1940 article by Gilbert, Douglas; p.154; accessed .
  4. Lee, Alfred McClung. The Daily Newspaper in America, Vol. 1, p. 228 (1937)
  5. "I Know .. because I Was There": Leander P. Richardson Reports the Black Hills Gold Rush; PDF download; 2001; McLaird, James. D.; "South Dakota History", Vol. 31.
  6. They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok; Book; Rosa, Joseph G.; pp. 268–269; accessed November 2013; ISBN 978-0-8061-1538-2.
  7. Anselma; IBDB; accessed November 2013.
  8. Leander Richardson; Amazon.com; accessed November 2013.

Further reading

  • Richardson, Leander; 2013 (original work published 1886); The Dark City: or Customs of the Cockneys; Hong Kong; ISBN 9781141003099
  • Richardson, Leander; January 1, 1889; Lord Dunmersey: His Recollections and Moral Reflections; J. Delay publisher; (ASIN: B0008BSG7U)
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