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Russell Wheeler Davenport (1899 – April 19, 1954) was an American publisher and writer.

Russell Wheeler Davenport
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 19, 1954
OccupationWriter and publisher
Notable works"My Country, A Poem of America" (1944) and The Dignity of Man (1955)

Life and careerEdit

Davenport was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of Russell W. Davenport, Sr., a vice president of Bethlehem Steel, and Cornelia Whipple Farnum. His younger brother was John Davenport, also a journalist.

He served with the U.S. Army in World War I and received the Croix de Guerre. He enrolled at Yale University and graduated in 1923, where he was classmate of Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, who founded Time magazine. While at Yale he became a member of the secret society Skull and Bones.[1] In 1929, he married the writer Marcia Davenport; they divorced in 1944. He joined the editorial staff of Fortune magazine in 1930 and became managing editor in 1937.

At age forty-one, he turned to politics and became a personal and political advisor to Wendell Willkie. Willkie was the Republican nominee for the 1940 presidential election and lost the election to Franklin D. Roosevelt. After Willkie's death in 1944, Davenport became a de facto leader of the internationalist Republicans.

Following World War II, he was on the staff of Life and Time until 1952. In 1944, Simon and Schuster published one of his works, "My Country, A Poem of America". His book The Dignity of Man was published posthumously in 1955.


  1. ^ "Russell Wheeler Davenport." Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 5: 1951–1955. American Council of Learned Societies, 1977.