Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher in his day. In our time, he might well have been a blogger.
In 1908 he was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves. He spoke on the poetry of Robert Browning and said "a more refined and intelligent audience I never saw." He reported that the membership was limited to 350 men and that there was a perpetual waiting list to join with "the slighest fleck on your social record" being cause to be rejected.Hubbard is remembered today for his many quotable quotes, among which one struck this editor as particularly apropos:
In 1912, the famed passenger liner the Titanic was sunk after hitting an iceberg. Hubbard subsequently wrote of the disaster, singling out the story of the wife of Isador Straus, who as a woman was supposed to be placed on a lifeboat in precedence to the men. She refused to board the boat: "Not I—I will not leave my husband. All these years we've traveled together, and shall we part now? No, our fate is one."
Hubbard then added his own stirring commentary: "Mr. and Mrs. Straus, I envy you that legacy of love and loyalty left to your children and grandchildren. The calm courage that was yours all your long and useful career was your possession in death. You knew how to do three great things—you knew how to live, how to love and how to die.
"One thing is sure, there are just two respectable ways to die. One is of old age, and the other is by accident. All disease is indecent. Suicide is atrocious. But to pass out as did Mr. and Mrs. Isador Straus is glorious. Few have such a privilege. Happy lovers, both. In life they were never separated and in death they are not divided." Hubbard and his wife, though he knew it not then, were to have just such a privilege. Little more than three years after the sinking of the Titanic, the Hubbards boarded Lusitania in New York City on May 1, 1915. On May 7, 1915, while at sea, it was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine Unterseeboot 20.
"Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed." ~ Elbert Hubbard