Clarence W. Barron



In March 1902, Clarence Barron purchased Dow Jones & Company for a reported $130,000.

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News organizations and titles: President, Dow Jones & Company, 1912-28; founder and editor, Barron's, 1921; bought Dow Jones & Company, 1902; president, Doremus & Company, a financial advertising firm; founder, Philadelphia News Bureau, 1897; founder, Boston News Bureau, 1887; reporter and financial editor, Boston Transcript, 1875-87.

Legacy: Mr. Barron is considered by many to be the father of financial journalism. He not only served as president of Dow Jones and founded Barron's in 1921, but also set journalistic standards for financial reporting that included what is now common &emdash; intense scrutiny of corporate financial information.

Journalistic Progeny: Gene Cervi, Robert J. Flaherty, William J. O'Neil and Michael Bloomberg.

Personal: Born July 2, 1855, in Boston; died Oct. 2, 1928.

Family: Married Jessie M. Waldron in 1900. He adopted her daughters, Jane and Martha. Mrs. Barron died in 1918.

Books: "War Finance, As Viewed From the Roof of the World in Switzerland," 1919; "The Mexican Problem," 1917; "The Audacious War," 1915; and "Twenty-Eight Essays on the Federal Reserve Act." Notes of his numerous interviews were published after his death in "They Told Barron" and "More They Told Barron."

Education: Boston's Graduate English High School, 1873.

What he has said about financial journalism: "If we are live wires, we can so project financial truth that it will, at times, illumine the path of the investor. We should not usurp his prerogative of selecting, guessing or predicting but should steadily seek to illuminate his forward path.

"You are in the field to defend the public interest, the financial truth for investors and the funds that should support the widow and the orphan."

What he has said about himself: From "My Creed," by C.W. Barron: "I believe in service. I believe in the laws, in the happiness, in the mutuality of service. I know no other happiness, I know no other laws. There is no other happiness; there are no other laws. In The Wall Street Journal, I have sought to create a service. I have striven for a creation so founded in principles that it can live as a service--live so long as it abides in the laws of that service. "I believe there is no higher service from government, from society, from journalism than the protection and upbuilding of the savings of the people. Savings in the United States may become investments, when guided by financial knowledge, more readily than in any other country of the world.

"Wall Street steadily improves and increases its service to the whole country by reflecting the true position of American and world investments. The Wall Street Journal must stand for the best that is in Wall Street and reflect that which is best in United States finance. Its motto is: 'The Truth in its proper use.' "

Home run stories or accomplishments: He founded the acclaimed financial newspaper, the Boston News Bureau, in 1887, and later founded the Philadelphia News Bureau in 1897.

In March 1902, he purchased Dow Jones & Company for a reported $130,000. In 1912, he took over control of The Wall Street Journal as president of Dow Jones & Company.

In 1921, he launched Barron's The National Financial Weekly, where he served as editor.

What he made news or headlines for: In 1913, he testified before the Massachusetts Public Service Commission concerning the New Haven Railroad slush fund. He was the subject of a $5 million libel suit for his 1920 muckraking exposes of scam artist Charles Ponzi. The suit was dropped after Ponzi's arrest and conviction. In April 1927, Princess Margaret Nchika of Romania sued him for $100,000, saying he defamed her at a dinner by calling her a spy. The suit was dismissed.

What others have said about him: William E. Hazen, author of "Broad Street Gossip": "No one worked harder than Mr. Barron in an effort to educate the people as to the real values of securities and finance in general. He exposed what was bad and exploited what was good."

Oliver J. Gingold, longtime reporter for The Wall Street Journal: "C.W. Barron never ceased being a reporter, and perhaps some of the cubs hearing him refer to himself as 'a reporter' thought he was joking, but he preferred that title even though he was 'big chief.' "

Kenneth C. Hogate, former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal: "He was a master of finance, adamant in demands for accuracy to the last detail in a complicated financial situation."


At the dinner, Jane McElree shares some family memories of her great-grandfather,
Clarence W. Barron, a Top 10 honoree.

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