US Stamps

Born Nov. 5: Ida M. Tarbell

Apr 30, 2021, 4 PM
Ida M. Tarbell is one of four women journalists commemorated on 37¢ stamps in a 2002 set.

By Michael Baadke

Journalist Ida M. Tarbell was born Nov. 5, 1857, in Erie County, Pa. She graduated from Allegheny College in 1880, and briefly worked as a teacher before accepting a position as a writer and editor for the Chautauquan. She left the magazine to continue her schooling in Paris.

Tarbell submitted articles to McClure’s monthly magazine, including an investigative series on Standard Oil Co., which led to the federal government filing suit against the company, and the eventual dissolution of Standard’s near-monopoly of the oil industry in the United States.

For her pioneering reporting methods, Tarbell is considered a key figure in the development of investigative journalism.

She was honored on a 37¢ stamp issued Sept. 14, 2002, in the Women in Journalism commemorative set of four (Scott 3666).