was a leading 19th century American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
newspaper editor, working from 1838 to 1866 for New York Herald
The New York Herald was a large distribution newspaper based in New York City that existed between May 6, 1835, and 1924.-History:The first issue of the paper was published by James Gordon Bennett, Sr., on May 6, 1835. By 1845 it was the most popular and profitable daily newspaper in the UnitedStates...
, where he served as managing editor, and was influential in the development of American journalism.
Hudson was born in Quincy, Massachusetts
Quincy is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Its nicknames are "City of Presidents", "City of Legends", and "Birthplace of the American Dream". As a major part of Metropolitan Boston, Quincy is a member of Boston's Inner Core Committee for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council...
[Wilson, Leslie Perrin (November/December 2001). Frederic Hudson: Father of American Journalism, The Concord Magazine]
and attended the town school in Concord, Massachusetts
Concord is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 17,668. Although a small town, Concord is noted for its leading roles in American history and literature.-History:...
. When he was 17, he moved to New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
, where his brothers had opened "Hudson's News Room". In 1836, he there met James Gordon Bennett, Sr.
James Gordon Bennett, Sr. was the founder, editor and publisher of the New York Herald and a major figure in the history of American newspapers.-Biography:...
, who had founded the Herald
in 1835, and soon went to work for him, becoming the third full-time employee of the paper.
Hudson was known for his diligent pursuit of news and attention to detail, and was eventually named as managing editor by Bennett. For example, instead of waiting for ships to arrive at the dock to pick up their news, he sent out boats he meet ships to get the news faster.
He pursued detailed coverage of the Civil War, hiring over sixty-three correspondents. During Hudson's tenure, the paper developed from a local institution to a complex and far-ranging national organization.
Hudson was also left solely in charge of the paper when Bennett would travel for extended periods, and the paper's circulation grew to become largest read daily paper in the United States by the time of the Civil War.
In 1866, Hudson retired, and moved with his wife, who was in ill-health (along with their son Woodward) to Concord, Massachusetts.
(Bennett's son, James Gordon Bennett, Jr.
James Gordon Bennett, Jr. was publisher of the New York Herald, founded by his father, James Gordon Bennett, Sr., who emigrated from Scotland. He was generally known as Gordon Bennett to distinguish him from his father....
, took over the running of the paper.)
In 1873, Hudson published a history of American newspapers, Journalism in the United States, from 1690 to 1872
,, which became the authoritative text on the development of American journalism.
Hudson died on October 21, 1875, from injuries suffered when he fell from a horse carriage that was struck by railroad cars at a crossing in Concord.
[(25 October 1875). Funeral of Frederic Hudson, The New York Times]
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...
[(22 October 1875). Frederic Hudson and American Journalism, Boston Daily Globe]
His New York Herald
obituary described him as "the father of American journalism, so far as enterprise, sagacity and boldness in gathering news are concerned."