Charles Henry Dow: The Man Who Created Modern Economics

By | October 7, 2019

test article image
The day's numbers for the Dow Jones Industrial Average are displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Source: (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Every time you discuss stocks and the movement of the financial market, you probably refer to the Dow Jones, or maybe even just the Dow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a measurement of the stock performances of the 30 largest companies listed on the U.S. stock exchange. Contrary to popular belief, Dow Jones was not the name of the person who founded this organization. It was a merger of two of the last names of the three founders of the Down Jones Industrial Average. Those three gentlemen were Charles Henry Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. Let's take a look at one of these men, Charles Henry Dow. 

test article image
Charles Henry Dow was a journalist turned financial analysis whiz. Source: (

Charles Henry Dow Was a Journalist

Charles Henry Dow was born in November 1851. Although his name is now synonymous with financial markets, he was a journalist by trade. Even without a formal education, Dow was hired as a city reporter for several newspapers in Massachusetts. He had a knack for writing local history articles in which he explained how various businesses and industries impacted the growth of the area. He published an in-depth report in 1877 on the steam transportation industry between New York and Providence that included both the history of the industry and his perspective of the future of steam navigation. This work caught the attention of his editors, who sent him on assignment to Colorado with a group of bankers and investors to report on the silver mining industry. His articles delved into capitalism, investment strategies, and financial risk-taking.