Broun was born in Brooklyn, the third of four children born to Heywood C. Broun and Henrietta Marie (née Brose) Broun.
He attended Harvard University, but did not earn a degree, instead commencing his professional career writing baseball stories in the sports section of the New York Morning Telegraph. Broun worked at the New York Tribune from 1912–1921, rising to drama critic before transferring to the New York World (1921–28). It was at the World where his syndicated column, It Seems to Me, began. In 1928, he moved to the Scripps-Howard newspapers, including the New York World-Telegram, where it appeared until he moved it to the New York Post, just before his death.
Broun was known as a fairly decent drama critic. However, he once classified Geoffrey Steyne as the worst actor on the American stage. Steyne sued Broun, but a judge threw the case out. The next time Broun reviewed a production with Steyne in the cast, he left the actor out of the review. However, in the final sentence, he wrote, "Mr. Steyne's performance was not up to its usual standard."
An attributed line of lasting quotability, "Posterity is as likely to be wrong as anybody else" is used widely, often in arguments about documentation and history.
In 1930, Broun unsuccessfully ran for Congress, as a Socialist. A slogan of Broun's was "I'd rather be right than Roosevelt."
In 1933, Broun along with New York Evening Post Editor Joseph Cookman, John Eddy of The New York Times and Allen Raymond of the New York Herald Tribune helped to found The Newspaper Guild.
In 1938 Broun helped found the weekly tabloid Connecticut Nutmeg, soon renamed Broun's Nutmeg.
The Newspaper Guild sponsors an annual Heywood Broun Award for outstanding work by a journalist, especially work that helps correct an injustice.
Read more about this topic: Heywood Broun
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