In Search of the Next Kick

An insightful mini-biography of the icon of the “beat” generation ...


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Jacob A. Riis

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914), himself an immigrant, came to the United States from Denmark at age twenty-one. Arriving in New York, he worked on farms and at odd jobs before taking a job as a journalist, first as a trainee with the New York News Association and eventually as a police reporter with the New York Tribune, working the most crime-ridden and impoverished slums of the city. His reporting, enhanced by his own pioneering photographs, made a difference in the lives of the immigrants by influencing the reform of the slums.