Alphonso Miner (†'The Fat Contributor') Griswold, journalist and humorist, was born in Westmorland, Oneida County, New York, January 26, 1834. He attended the Oneida Academy and later was graduated from Hamilton College. He was married in 1857 to Henrietta Benson of Boston, and the next year became a reporter on the Buffalo Republic and Times. He soon won a name for himself as "The Fat Contributor," although he was not fat. In 1859 he wrote editorials for the Detroit Advertiser, and later was associate editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 1863 he became city editor of the Cincinnati Times. Owing to failing eyesight, he retired temporarily from newspaper work and became manager for the actor Lawrence Barrett, and on March 15, 1865, made his own debut on the stage in Cincinnati as a humorous lecturer, a profession he was to follow until his death. In the meantime, however, he founded in Cincinnati, in 1872, the Fat Contributors Saturday Night, and wrote for it until 1883, when he sold it. Free from editorial duties, he went to Europe and remained for three years. In 1886 he became one of the editors of the Texas Siftings, a humorous paper founded by Alexander E. Sweet and J. Armoy Knox in 1881, in which Griswold had a part interest, but he also continued his humorous lectures. While in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where he had lectured the previous day, he died suddenly of apoplexy, March 14, 1891.
Griswold wrote no serial stories nor "libraries" for Beadle, but contributed various articles to the editorial pages of the Banner Weekly. He also contributed to The Weekly Novelist and to In Doors and Out, and wrote a few Nickel Libraries and Munro's Ten Cent Novels.
REFERENCES: Nat. Cyc. Amer. Biog., VI, New York, 1929, 29, with portrait; Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines, New York, 1930, III, †270.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.