Hassard, John Rose Greene

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Journalist, critic, biographer; b. New York, N.Y., Sept. 4, 1836; d. New York, N.Y., April 18, 1888. The son of Thomas and Augusta Greene Hassard, he was reared as an Episcopalian. He became a Catholic in 1851 and graduated from St. John's College, Fordham, New York City, in 1855. He served as secretary to Abp. John Hughes until the prelate's death in 1864, then wrote a biography (1866) based on the archbishop's private papers. He also compiled articles for the New American Encyclopedia and became literary editor of the New York Tribune.

In 1865, Hassard became first editor of the Catholic World, and helped in forming its distinctly literary character. Later the same year Charles A. Dana persuaded him to join the short-lived Chicago Republican. In 1866, Hassard returned to the Tribune permanently, working chiefly as music and literary critic and editorial writer, and as managing editor for a time after the death of Horace Greeley in 1872. He was also New York correspondent for the London Daily News and wrote essays and reviews for the Catholic World and American Catholic Quarterly Review. In 1872, he married Isabella Hargous; they had no children. Although restricted by ill health, he traveled extensively, pursuing scholarly interests in English, French, and German literature. He died of tuberculosis and was buried at St. Ann's Church, New York City.

Hassard's History of the United States (1878) was long used as a text in Catholic schools. His works include: The Wreath of Beauty (1864), A Life of Pope Pius IX (1877), Richard Wagner at Bayreuth (1877), A Pickwickian Pilgrimage (1881), and New York Tribune's History of the United States (1887).

Bibliography: i. t. hecker, "John R. G. Hassard," Catholic World 47 (June 1888) 397400. j. j. walsh, "John R. G. Hassard," Catholic World 97 (June 1913) 349359.

[j. l. o'sullivan]