The country's fascination with John D. Rockefeller, Sr. reached a peak in the early 1900s. On top of the public's love-hate relationship with the richest man in the country, the antitrust political climate and the recent exposés of Standard Oil spawned constant Rockefeller headlines.
For some, it was too much. The letter below, from a disgruntled (and rather sarcastic) New York Times reader, could have been written much more recently about the media frenzy surrounding another well-known billionaire…
To the Editor
October 7, 1905
As a regular reader of The New York Times, I have noticed with increasing pleasure the strict impartiality with which you give publicity to both kicks and praise. I am therefore emboldened to address you on a little matter which comes within one of those descriptions. I hardly know which. Why not a Rockefeller page in The New York Times? A Rockefeller Section, or a Rockefeller Department -- anything save a Rockefeller Column, which would be altogether too insignificant for a subject, which The Times evidently regards as so urgently important. The taste for reading of Rockefeller daily constantly increases, and your daily doles seem to grow woefully insufficient. The fever for it is upon us -- give us more Rockefeller, and let us intoxicate ourselves with the quantity you will furnish. Give us a page of him every day.
Arthur A. Penn, NY
The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.
Intrepid journalist Nelly Bly went on a journey around the world breaking the record of Julius Verne's fictional character.
A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.
The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.
A writer's childhood and the development of her photography and writing about the American South.
John Scopes' free speech trial pitted science against religion after the teacher presented Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a Tennessee school.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention saw a clash of political visions on the convention floor and violence outside on the streets of Chicago.
The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.