Nebraska Authors

Richard Lee Metcalfe

Born 1861-10-11 Upper Alton, IL (USA)

Died 1954-03-31

Journalist and close associate of William Jennings Bryan. Metcalfe came to Omaha, Nebraska in 1887 and worked for the Omaha Bee and later the Omaha World-Herald newspapers. When World-Herald owner and Bryan supporter Gilbert Hitchcock decided to appoint William Jennings Bryan as the newspaper's editor-in-chief in 1894, it was Melcalfe, the paper's sometime Washington correspondent, who worked up Bryan's notes into editorials that were published under Bryan's name. Metcalfe succeeded Bryan as editor when Bryan left in 1896. Metcalfe wrote campaign biographies of Bryan for the 1896 and 1900 campaigns (considerable tomes at about 500 pages), and left the World Herald in 1905 to become Associate Editor of Bryan's newspaper The Commoner, published in Lincoln. When Bryan was appointed Secretary of State in the Woodrow Wilson administration, he had Metcalfe appointed Governor of the Canal Zone in Panama, where he served briefly. Metcalfe later ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate (twice) and once for Nebraska Governor. He was appointed mayor of Omaha in 1929, on the death of the incumbent, and was re-elected to that office once. Before WW II, he joined Brandeis Department Stores as advertising manager.

See also journalist Will Maupin.


Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Lincoln, NE
Panama Canal Zone
Washington, DC

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Fiction
  • Journalism


Newspaper Journalism; Democratic Politics; Populism


Newspaper Editor

Places Worked

Omaha Bee
Omaha World-Herald
Brandeis Department Stores


William Jennings Bryan
Will Maupin
Charles Bryan
Gilbert Hitchcock


Life and Patriotic Services of Hon. William J. Bryan. 1896. (Cover title: "Bryan, Sewall and free silver")
Victorious Democracy: Embracing Life and Patriotic Services of Hon. William J. Bryan. 1900. (Cover title: "Democratic Issues of 1900")
Of Such Is the Kingdom: And Other Stories From Life. 1907. (numerous editions with slightly varying subtitles)
"Bishop Sunbeams": And Other Stories of Service. 1909.

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Richard Lee Metcalfe

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)