Founding Editor Burns Mantle

(Robert) Burns Mantle (1873–1948) Drama critic and annalist. Trained as a printer, Mantle turned to dramatic criticism in 1898 for the Denver Times and moved to the Denver Republican in 1901. During the same year, he left for Chicago and a six-year stint as critic for the Inter-Ocean (1901–07). In 1907, he spent a year as reviewer for the Chicago Tribune before becoming that paper’s Sunday editor. In 1911 he accepted the dramatic post for the New York Evening Mail and changed jobs one last time in 1922 when he moved to the Daily News (1922–43). A strong supporter of the American drama, Mantle wrote in a bright and newsy style. His Best Plays series, which he edited from 1920 until 1947, remains his most enduring contribution to the American stage. — Tice L. Miller in Cambridge Guide to American Theatre, 1993 (excerpt). (Photo by Ossie Leviness; gift of the Margaret Burns Mantle Gerard Estate)

More of Best Plays Online:

Best Plays Home Page

 Jenkins Named Editor of Best Plays Series

The Best Plays of 2000–2001

 From the Best Plays Photo Archives

 Former Editor John Chapman