Robert Leroy Bartley (October 12, 1937 – December 10, 2003) was the
editor of the editorial page of
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal for more than
30 years. He won a
Pulitzer Prize for opinion writing and received the
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom from the Bush administration in 2003.
Bartley was famed for providing a conservative interpretation of the
news every day, especially regarding economic issues. The Forbes
Media Guide Five Hundred, 1994 states:
Editor Bartley's influence stems largely from his intelligent,
fearless editorship of the Journal's editorial and op-ed pages.
4 External links
Bartley was the son of a professor of veterinary medicine. He was born
Marshall, Minnesota and grew up in Ames, Iowa. Bartley received
a bachelor's degree in journalism from
Iowa State University
Iowa State University and a
master's degree in political science from the University of
Wisconsin–Madison. His wife Edith had three daughters with him.
Bartley started at the Journal in 1962. After working as a staff
reporter in the Chicago and Philadelphia bureaus, he became part of
the editorial page staff in 1964. In 1972, he became editor of the
editorial page, and in 1979 the editor of the Journal. In 1980, he won
Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. In 1982, John Tebbel,
professor emeritus of journalism at New York University, called
Bartley "the most influential editorial writer of my time."
In 1983, Bartley was named a vice president of the Dow Jones &
Company, the company that owned the Journal.
Bartley was the author of "The Seven Fat Years: And How to Do It
Again," published in 1992, a book on the economic policy of the Reagan
In December 2002, Bartley stepped down as editor of the Wall Street
Journal editorial page. In December 2003, a week before Bartley died
George W. Bush
George W. Bush announced that Bartley was being
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian
On the free market, he said "In general, 'the market' is smarter than
the smartest of its individual participants."
A supporter of NAFTA, Bartley is said to have observed to a former
colleague, Peter Brimelow, "I think the nation-state is finished."
Alongside his support for the free flow of goods, Bartley supported
the free flow of labour across borders. He controversially wrote in
favor of open borders and high rates of immigration to the United
States. After then Mexican President, Vicente Fox, declared in a
speech in 2001 that "
NAFTA should evolve into something like the
European Union, with open borders for not only goods and investment
but also people", Bartley wrote in support of having open borders
Mexico and the United States. Indeed, in that July 2, 2001
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal editorial, Bartley reminded readers that "during
the immigration debate of 1984 we suggested an ultimate goal to guide
passing policies--a constitutional amendment: 'There shall be open
^ Richard Vetter, "Wall Street Journal," in Bruce Frohnen, ed.
American Conservatism (2006) pp 898-99
^ Terry Eastland, ed. Forbes Media Guide Five Hundred, 1994: A
Critical Review of the Media (1994) p 276
^ "Robert L. Bartley: The Wall Street Journal's editor emeritus dies
at 66", Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2003
^ Jack Shafer, "Robert L. Bartley (1937-2003)", Slate magazine,
December 12, 2003
^ Robert D. Novak, "Who Is Robert Bartley?", Weekly Standard, January
^ Robert L. Barkeley, Wall Street Journal, accessed August 9, 2007
^ "Statement on Robert L. Bartley", White House press release,
December 3, 2003
Appearances on C-SPAN
Booknotes interview with Bartley on The Seven Fat Years and How to Do
It Again, May 17, 1992.
A film clip "The Open Mind - Americans' Appetite for Pessimism - Any
Reason Will Do (1990)" is available at the Internet Archive
Robert Bartley at Find a Grave
ISNI: 0000 0001 1048 2451