Is your surname McClure?

Research the McClure family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Samuel Sidney McClure

Also Known As: "S. S. McClure"
Birthplace: Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Death: March 21, 1949 (92)
New York, NY, United States (Old Age)
Place of Burial: Galesburg, Knox County, IL, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas McClure and Elizabeth Gaston
Husband of Harriet "Hattie" McClure
Father of Robert Louis Stevenson McClure

Occupation: Publisher and Magazine Owner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About S. S. McClure

Samuel Sidney McClure (1857–1949) was an American publisher who became known as a key figure in investigative, or muckraking, journalism. He co-founded and ran McClure's Magazine from 1893 to 1911.


He was born in County Antrim, Ireland, and emigrated with his widowed mother to Indiana when he was nine years old. He grew up nearly impoverished on a farm and graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1875. He worked his way through Knox College, where he co-founded its student newspaper, and later moved to New York City. In 1884, he established the McClure Syndicate, the first U.S. newspaper syndicate, which serialized books.

McClure created a whole new form of writing for his journalists that we still use today. Instead of demanding that his writers give him articles for his paper immediately, he would give them all the time they needed to do extensive research on their topics.

He founded and ran the widely circulated McClure's Magazine from June 1893 to 1911, when poor health and financial reorganization forced him out and many of his writers had defected to form their own magazine. McClure's Magazine published influential pieces by respected journalists and authors including Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Burton J. Hendrick, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Willa Cather, and Lincoln Steffens. Through his magazine, he introduced Dr. Maria Montessori's new teaching methods to North America in 1911. McClure was a business partner of Frank Nelson Doubleday in Doubleday & McClure, ancestor to today's Doubleday imprint. After he was ousted in 1911, McClure's Magazine serialized his ghost-written autobiography.

He died in 1949 in New York City, U.S.A.


Samuel McClure was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1857. He emigrated to America in 1866 and after working his way through Knox College he moved to New York City, where he became a journalist.

McClure established McClure's Magazine, an American literary and political magazine, in June 1893. Selling at the low price of 15 cents, this illustrated magazine published the work of leading popular writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. He also promoted the work of educationalist, Maria Montessori.

In 1902 the magazine began to specialize in what became known as muckraking journalism. On the advice of Norman Hapgood, McClure recruited Lincoln Steffens as editor of the magazine. In his autobiography, Steffens described McClure as: "Blond, smiling, enthusiastic, unreliable, he was the receiver of the ideas of his day. He was a flower that did not sit and wait for the bees to come and take his honey and leave their seeds. He flew forth to find and rob the bees."

Writers who worked for the magazine during this period included Ida Tarbell (History of the Standard Oil Company, November, 1902 - October, 1904; John D. Rockefeller: A Character Sketch, July, 1905); Lincoln Steffens (Enemies of the Republic, March, 1904; Rhode Island: A State for Sale, February, 1905; New Jersey: A Traitor State, April, 1905; Ohio: A Tale of Two Cities, July, 1905) and Ray Stannard Baker (What the United States Steel Corporation Really Is?, November, 1901; The Right to Work, January, 1903; Reign of Lawlessness, May, 1904, What is Lynching; January, 1905; Railroads on Trial, January, 1906, How Railroads Make Public Opinion, March, 1906). Other writers who worked for the magazine included Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Willa Cather and Burton J. Hendrick.

Sales of the magazine declined in the 1920s and the last issue appeared in March 1929.

Samuel McClure died in 1949.

view all

S. S. McClure's Timeline

February 17, 1857
Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
March 21, 1949
Age 92
New York, NY, United States
Galesburg, Knox County, IL, United States