Skip to main content

Harrington, H. F. (Harry Franklin), 1882-1935



Harry Franklin Harrington was born in Logan, Ohio, on July 5, 1882. He earned his B.A. degree at The Ohio State University in 1905 and his M.A. at Columbia University in 1909. Oklahoma City University awarded him a doctorate of humanities and letters in 1931.

Harrington began his professional career as reporter and editorial writer for the Columbus, Ohio, State Journal and later became editor of Ohio's London Times. In 1909-1910 he taught English at Ohio Wesleyan University. In the fall of 1910 Harrington moved to The Ohio State University where he taught English and directed courses in journalism for four years.

In 1914 Western Reserve University invited Harrington to become dean of their new school of journalism. The major funding for this school was to come from a donation pledged by Dan R. Hanna, proprietor of the Cleveland Leader and news and a son of Mark Hanna. Apparently Harrington angered Hanna by not selecting at least one member from the staff of the Leader and News for the school's faculty. Following several discussions between Hanna, Harrington, and Western Reserve President Charles Franklin Thwing, Hanna withdrew his pledge.

Harrington left Western Reserve for the University of Kansas where he taught in 1914-1915. In 1915 he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois and remained a member until 1921. While teaching at Illinois Harrington also served as director of the university's journalism curriculum.

After Northwestern University established the Medill School of Journalism in 1921 Harrington accepted an appointment as the School's dean. Over the next fourteen years he led Medill into the ranks of America's premier academic journalism programs. During his tenure at Northwestern Harrington also taught summer journalism courses at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Colorado, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Harrington wrote or co-authored nine published books, among them several widely used textbooks in journalism. He also wrote many newspaper and magazine editorials and a few short stories. From 1929 through 1932 he wrote editorials on a wide variety of subjects for the Christian Science Monitor. Many of these were reprinted by newspapers in other parts of the country.

In 1913 Harrington married Frieda Poston of Crawfordsville, Indiana. The couple had no children. The Harringtons took at least one trip to Europe, probably in 1926, and Prof. Harrington wrote several newspaper article concerning their travel experiences.

During the summer of 1935 Harrington's health began to fail. In the middle of September he suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Evanston, Illinois on September 21st.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Harry F. Harrington (1882-1935) Papers

Identifier: 16/8
Abstract The Harry F. Harrington Papers fill three boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speeches, and publications. There are as well a few files relating to Harrington's college education. The biographical materials include a number of newspaper clippings, five of which report on the aborted program in journalism at Western Reserve University. Many others deal with Harrington's appointment at Medill and...
Dates: 1899-1967