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Joseph Alsop, born in 1910, was the older brother of Stewart Alsop, born in 1914, both of whom would come to be known for their work as political journalists for the New York Herald Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post, and Newsweek. Their mother, Corinne Robinson Alsop, was Eleanor Roosevelt's first cousin, and the Alsops maintained a relationship with the first lady until her death in 1962, despite sometimes breaking with her publicly on issues of policy, or even on issues of fashion and taste. After graduating from Harvard, Joseph joined the New York Herald Tribune's Washington bureau as a reporter where he remained through the war. His brother, on the other hand, worked in publishing following the completion of his studies at Yale and in 1944 joined the Office of Strategic Services. Joseph and Stewart partnered after the war to produce their famous "Matter of Fact" column, which they wrote jointly from 1946 to 1958. It was during this period that the Alsop brothers earned the recognition and level of circulation (at one point their column was the most heavily syndicated in the United States) that made them, alongside other notables like Walter Lippmann, two of the most important political newspapermen of the twentieth century. Although Stewart left the New York Herald Tribune for the more liberal Saturday Evening Post and then for Newsweek, his brother continued to produce the syndicated opinion column. While Stewart was more liberal than Joseph, he nonetheless characterized both of them as "New Deal liberals," despite Joseph's affiliation with the Republican party and his support for conservative foreign policies, including the war in Vietnam.


Beasley, Maurine H., Holly C. Shulman, and Henry R. Beasley, eds. The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001, 4-5.

"Joseph and Stuart Alsop." The Columbia Encyclopedia. Internet on-line. Available From

The Concise Dictionary of American Biography. 5th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1997, 22.

Lash, Joseph. Eleanor, The Years Alone. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1972, 85-86.