By 1900 the West was won, the frontier was no more, the continent was settled
from coast to coast and the American nation had established itself as a world power.
At the turn of the century a number of world's fairs were being staged and the US's
commercial expansion into foreign markets was increasing. There was great interest
in world travel as the geographical boundaries between nations was shrinking with
modernized and new forms of travel and transportation. The World's Transportation
Commission had gathered and published information about foreign transportation
systems including railroads and ocean steamers.
In this atmosphere, the career of Charles Cecil Fitzmorris got an early, if not
a spectacular start when he won a trip round-the-world in a contest in 1900 and a
place on the afternoon newspaper, the Evening American as a "super" office boy.
He circumnavigated the earth setting a record for going round-the-world faster
than any other human had previously done. He departed Chicago, IL and 60D 13H 20M
later he returned there completing his journey round-the-world carving his
record-setting position into history.
Fitzmorris lived on the North Lake Shore Drive in the Near North Side community
area of Chicago. In 1915 his notoriety helped propel his career to become secretary
to Chicago's Mayor William Hale Thompson. He became Chicago's Chief of Police from
1920-1923 and Chicago's Comptroller from 1927-1928. After leaving his public service,
he became president of the Globe Coal Company. He passed away on August 20, 1948 at
the age of 64.
The photo's on this page were sourced from the Chicago Historical Society. Many
thanks to this organization.