About Joseph Medill McCormick
Joseph Medill McCormick (May 16, 1877 – February 25, 1925), known as Medill, was part of the McCormick family of businessmen and politicians in Chicago. He became a Representative and a Senator from Illinois in the United States.
Born in Chicago on May 16, 1877, Joseph Medill McCormick's father was diplomat Robert Sanderson McCormick (1849–1919), who was nephew of Cyrus McCormick. McCormick attended Groton School at Groton, Massachusetts and graduated from Yale University in 1900, where he was elected to the secret society Scroll and Key. He worked as a newspaper reporter, publisher, and owner of the Chicago Daily Tribune. He also later purchased an interest in The Cleveland Leader and Cleveland News. He was a war correspondent in the Philippine Islands in 1901. In 1903 he married Ruth Hanna, daughter of Ohio Senator Mark Hanna.
Joining and leaving the Chicago Tribune
McCormick's mother, Katherine Medill McCormick, was the daughter of Tribune owner Joseph Medill and hoped that leadership of the paper would pass from her brother-in-law, Robert Wilson Patterson, to her son. Medill took over much of the management of the paper between 1903 and 1907, but became increasingly depressed and alcoholic. In 1907–1908, he spent some time under the care of Carl Jung in Zurich, subsequently following Jung's advice to detach himself from the family newspaper.
His younger brother Robert Rutherford McCormick (1880–1955), would also become involved in the newspaper for the next four decades.
McCormick was vice chairman of the national campaign committee of the Progressive Republican movement from 1912 to 1914. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1912 and 1914. Afterwards he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving from March 4, 1917 to March 3, 1919. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1918 and served from March 4, 1919 until his death. In the Senate, McCormick was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Labor and the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments.
McCormick lost the nomination in 1924 to Charles S. Deneen, and died on February 25, 1925 in a hotel room in Washington, DC. Although kept quiet at the time, his death was considered suicide. McCormick was interred in Middle Creek Cemetery, near Byron, Illinois. He was the husband of Ruth Hanna McCormick and father of Al-Marah Arabians owner Ruth "Bazy" McCormick Miller Tankersley and of Katrina McCormick Barnes. His son Medill, called "Johnny," died in a mountain-climbing accident in 1938.