Louise Bryant

Portrait of Louise Bryant

Born: San Francisco - 5 December 1885
Died: Paris - 6 January 1936

The wife of John Reed, Louise Bryant was also a journalist and political activist. She was born to a working-class family in San Francisco, and studied at the University of Nevada and the University of Oregon. After she graduated, she moved back to San Francisco to become a journalist, but strained finances obliged her to work as a teacher. Moving back to Portland, she became involved in the suffragette movement and began to write articles on feminism and radical politics.

She met John Reed in 1915. They married the next year, although they maintained a fashionably open relationship, and Bryant embarked on an affair with the famous playwright Eugene O'Neill a few months later. In 1917, she and Reed travelled together to Russia, where they participated in the October Revolution in Petrograd. Both published books about their experiences, and Bryant's Six Red Months in Russia was the first to be published, although Reed's would certainly become more famous. In 1918 Bryant came back to America where she and her husband were the subject of political persecution. She followed Reed back to Russia in 1920, arriving shortly before his death from typhus.

Bryant continued her career in journalism, moved to Paris, and married the journalist and diplomat William C. Bullitt. She died of a brain hemorrhage in January 1936.

Works: Six Red Months in Russia (1918), Mirrors of Moscow (1973)

Connected with: John Reed Albert Rhys Williams