Correspondents with a Cause

22 October marks the birthday of John Reed, an American journalist best known for his chronicle of the Russian Revolution, ’10 Days that Shook the World’.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Reed would graduate from Harvard College in 1910 and establish himself as a freelance writer in Greenwich Village, New York.

Reed would contribute over 50 articles to the radical journal, ‘The Masses’, covering events of labor strife and social upheaval of the time. Reed made his reputation as a war correspondent when he spent four months with Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution, producing the book, ‘Insurgent Mexico’. Reed would go on to employ this sort of eyewitness reporting to both the battlefields of the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In 1920, Reed would attend the Congress of Peoples of the East, in Baku, Azerbaijan. On this trip he would contract typhus, from which he would die in Moscow on 17 October. His remains were interred at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.