Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John Franch  

Pen Name: None



-- John Franch on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Worked as an archivist at the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes
ISBN: 025207517X

University of Illinois Press. 2008

Standing alongside J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, Charles Tyson Yerkes (1837-1905) was one of the most colorful and controversial public figures in nineteenth-century America. Robber Baron is the first biography of the streetcar magnate who was the mastermind behind Chicago's Loop Elevated and the London Underground and namesake of the University of Chicago's observatory. Yerkes also served as the inspiration for Frank Cowperwood, the ruthless protagonist of Theodore Dreiser's Trilogy of Desire: The Financier, The Titan, and The Stoic. Despite various philanthropic efforts, Yerkes and his unscrupulous tactics were despised by the press and public, and he left Chicago a bitter man.

John Franch has drawn upon every available source to tell the complete story of a man desperate to leave a lasting impression on his world. While Yerkes's enduring public works testify to his success, Robber Baron uncovers the cost of this boundless ambition.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)