Ida Tarbell (1857-1944) was one of the leading muckrakers of the Gilded Age and was a pioneer of investigative journalism.
Tarbell is best known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company in which she uncovered the illegal business practices that were being used by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. Tarbell’s investigative journalism contributed to the dissolution of the Standard Oil monopoly and led to the creation of several federal legislative developments, including the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Tarbell also wrote several other works and was known for taking complex subjects such as the oil industry, tariffs, and labor practices, and breaking them down into easily understood articles. She participated in numerous professional organizations for authors and served on Presidential committees for Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding.
Visit the resources below to learn more about Ida Tarbell and how she redefined the power of the press.