David Graham Phillips was born in Madison on 31st October, 1867. After studying at Asbury University Phillips found work as a reporter with the Cincinnati Times-Star. Later he worked for the New York Sun and the New York World. While with these newspapers Phillips developed a reputation as a fine investigative journalist.

His first novel, The Great God Success (1901), sold well and so Phillips left the New York World and concentrated on writing fiction. Most of Phillips's novels employ journalistic techniques and explored a variety of social problems. The Plum Tree (1905) and Light Fingered Gentry (1907) both dealt with political corruption, whereas The Second Generation (1907) looked critical at the issue of inherited wealth.

Phillips was occasionally commissioned to write articles for magazines on political subjects. The Treason of the Senate, a series of articles published in Cosmopolitan in 1906 caused a tremendous stir. Phillips revealed that politicians were receiving huge payments from large corporation to argue their case in the Senate. He accused both main parties, the Democrats and Republicans, of joining together to "advance the industrial and financial interests of the wealthy classes of the country".

Accused of being a muckraker, Phillips returned to fiction and other success included Old Wives for New (1908), a novel that considered the social and economic position of women. In other novels such as The Conflict (1911) Phillips returned to the subject of political corruption.

On 23rd January, 1911, David Graham Phillips was murdered b
y a man who believed that the novel, The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig, had libelously portrayed his family. Phillips's best known novel, Susan Lenox, a story about the rise to success of an illegitimate country girl, was published posthumously in 1917.

Taken from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAphillipsDG.htm 
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"Fell Face Downward, with his hands clasping the edge of her dress."

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