Biography of Famous Agnostic H.L. Menckin

About the famous American agnostic H.L. Mencken, history and information about the beliefs of the newspaper man.

HENRY LOUIS MENCKEN (1880-1956)

His Person: American editor, essayist, author, and--above all--a newspaper man. Began career as cub reporter (age 19) on Baltimore Morning Herald--became editor in 6 years. Worked for Baltimore Sun for great part of his career. Possessed a "superb gift for communications" which won him notoriety as one of America's "most colorful and influential public figures." Fought for limitation of governmental powers, and believed in free speech "up to the last limits of the unendurable." Fought against paternalisms (communism, Nazism, etc.). Declared enemy of puritanism. Persuaded Clarence Darrow to become defense lawyer in Scopes evolution trial. Has been called the "Sage of Baltimore," "our greatest practicing literary journalist," "the private secretary of God Almighty," and "an 18-karat, 23-jeweled, 33rd-degree, bred-in-the-bone and dyed-in-the-wool moron." Wrote: In Defense of Women, The American Language, Prejudices, Treatise on the Gods.

His Belief: "As for religion, I am quite devoid of it. The act of worship, as carried on by Christians, seems to me to be debasing rather than ennobling. It involves groveling before a Being, who, if He really exists, deserves to be denounced instead of respected."

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