On this day, Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun, was born.

In the early 1850s, photographer Mathew Brady ook a now-famous picture of seven members of the staff of the New York Tribune, then one of the country's most powerful newspapers. The men were among the most important American journalists of the 19th century. Seated in the center is Tribune founder Horace Greeley.  Standing right is Henry J. Raymond, founder of the New York Times. And standing in the middle is Charles Anderson Dana, later editor for 29 years of the New York Sun. He was born on this day on August 8th, 1819.

Mathew Brady photograph of the staff of the New York Tribune c. 1850.  Dana is standing in the middle. 

Mathew Brady photograph of the staff of the New York Tribune c. 1850.  Dana is standing in the middle. 

Like his later colleague Horace Greeley, Dana was born in New Hampshire but moved to New York to work in journalism. He worked for various newspapers before joining the Tribune in 1847. He traveled to Europe as a correspondent and met with sometimes Tribune writer Karl Marx. He also helped promote the Tribune's anti-slavery and later pro-Republican stances. (Later in his life Dana would express some racist views).  

After supporting Abraham Lincoln's presidential bid, be joined the administration as Assistant Secretary of War from 1863-65. In this  position e  came in to frequent contact with future president Ulysses Grant, and play a significant role in Grant's rise to become the Union's top general. 

The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park. It opened in 1993 and named after Dana.

The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park. It opened in 1993 and named after Dana.

After the war, Dana went back into journalism and eventually became the editor and part owner of the New York sun newspaper after the war, Dana went back into journalism and eventually became the editor and part-owner of the New York Sun, a position he held until the end of his life. During his editorship he switched the sun from a Republican-leaning paper to a Democratic-leaning one.  After supporting Grant as a candidate the paper became a harsh critic of his administration.  Late  in his tenure the Sun published the famous  "Yes, there is a Santa Claus!" editorial.