From The Kansas Historical Society
Journalist and author. Born: February 10, 1868, Emporia, Kansas. Married: Sallie Lindsay April 27, 1893. Died: January 29, 1944, Emporia, Kansas.
William Allen White was born February 10, 1868, in Emporia, Kansas, to Allen and Mary Ann (Hatten) White. The family soon moved to El Dorado. While a teenager, White worked as a press apprentice before attending the College of Emporia and the University of Kansas. He worked as an editorial writer for the Kansas City Star. On April 27, 1893, White married Sallie Lindsay. The couple moved to Emporia in 1895 and White bought the Emporia Gazette. Here he would earn the nickname “The Sage of Emporia.”
White used the editorial format of his newspaper to share his views on topics of the time. His fiery editorial, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” published in 1896, attacked the Populist movement for its negative influence on the state and gained national attention. White would later become more sympathetic to the Populists’ viewpoints. It was at this time that White befriended future president Theodore Roosevelt.