Student Journalists To Host Celebration for Birthday of Ida Tarbell, Class of 1880

Oct. 31, 2014 – The student journalists of The Campus, the award-winning student newspaper at Allegheny College, will celebrate pioneering journalist Ida Tarbell’s birthday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5 in the newspaper’s newsroom, Campus Center 314. The public is invited for cake and an open house.

Tarbell was born in Erie County on November 5, 1857 and grew up in Titusville. The only woman in Allegheny’s Class of 1880, Tarbell set a standard for investigative reporting that journalists today continue to hold high.

She is best known for her 1904 book “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” in which she revealed the unethical means used by John D. Rockefeller to monopolize the early oil industry. Eight years later, as a result of Tarbell’s investigative work, the Supreme Court issued a decision to break up the Standard Oil trust.

In 1999 the New York University journalism department ranked “The History of the Standard Oil Company” fifth in a listing of the top 100 journalistic works of the 20th century.

Tarbell was a trustee of Allegheny College for many years. The Ida M. Tarbell Collection at Allegheny College contains her professional papers and book collection.

The Campus newspaper has served the Allegheny College community since 1876. Tarbell was one of its earliest editors.

Photo courtesy of the Harris & Ewing Collection (Library of Congress)