As we look back at 2009 many of us lost loved ones whose memories we cherish. So too many celebrities were lost in 2009 some of whom will be missed by many people; all will be missed by someone.
To keep in mind that even though the world seems to change, it remains the same; here are ten famous people who died 100 years ago, in 1909.
Albert Pulitzer was a New York publisher and the brother of famed Joseph Pulitzer for whom the Pulitzer Prize is named. Albert suffered from “neurasthenia” a condition that seemed to be characterized by a wide variety of symptoms including severe insomnia, fatigue, hypochondria, worry, and depression. It appears the disorder may be equivalent to today’s “chronic fatigue syndrome.” Albert Pulitzer committed suicide in October 1909.
Benoit Constantin Coquelin was a playwright and actor famous for his role as Cyrano de Bergerac on stage and in an early silent film.
Clyde Fitch was an American playwright who penned more than 30 original scripts. He was also the first American to publish plays. He died at the age of 44.
EH Harriman was a railroad mogul who at the time of his death at age 61 controlled no less than eight major railroads. He left an estate valued at over $75 million.
Frederick Remington was a famous American writer and artist. He was most known for his depictions of the Old West. Copies of his work hang in bars and restaurants all over the US. His romantic ideas of war were shattered after he witnessed firsthand the Spanish-American War including Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Heights in Cuba. He was only 48 when he died.
Geronimo was the famous Chiricahua Apache medicine man and war leader who lived a life of fighting the Mexican and American armies, being imprisoned, and then becoming a celebrity and legend. He was 80 years old when he died.
Helena Modjeska was Poland born actress who was renowned as for Shakespearean roles. She immigrated to the United States where she died at the age of 68.
John Stewart Kennedy was a Scot who came to the US when he was 20 years old. He became an important banker and financier and one of America’s richest men. The attendees at his funeral included such prominent people as Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, and Cleveland Dodge.
Kennedy was 70 at his death.
Red Cloud was a war chief of the Sioux Lakota tribe and led his warriors to victory against the US during a war provoked by whites in Montana and Wyoming. In 1875 Red Cloud was part of an Indian delegation that traveled to Washington DC to try and reason with President Grant to keep miners out of the Black Hill Sioux Reservation. No solution was found and in 1877-78 Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull let the Lakota to war.
The Lakota were eventually removed to a different location. The HBO movie Bury My Heart in at Wounded Knee is an excellent depiction of the Lakota Sioux story.
Red Cloud died at age 87.
Rufus Wheeler Peckham was a US Supreme Court Justice who served on the court from 1895 to his death in 1909. Sadly, Peckham voted in favor of upholding Jim Crow Laws in the South.
New York Times Archives
Paul Johnson: A History of the American People
The Library of Congress