Mark Twain: ”The report of my death was an exaggeration”
June 2, 1897
The Herald, which then was regarded as one of the top daily newspapers in America, reported Twain, then 61, to be “grievously ill and possibly dying. Worse still, we are told that his brilliant intellect is shattered and that he is sorely in need of money.”
Twain was in London then, preparing to cover Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee for William Randolph Hearst’s flamboyant New York Journal. That association allowed the Journal to puncture the Herald’s account as false.
In an article published June 2, 1897, beneath the headline, Mark Twain Amused, the Journal skewered the Herald’s story and offered Twain’s timeless denial: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”