How did influential people know when to hire biographers? What was the profession like in the 1800s working for aristocratic families like the Roosevelts?

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I'm currently reading Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit, a biography on Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, and the rise of modern journalism.

I noticed that the Roosevelt and Taft families both had biographers, even when the future presidents were kids. I'm curious how common of a profession it was being a biographer for aristocratic families in the mid-to-late 1800s and what the job was like.

While their jobs got interesting as the men rose in politics, I can't imagine how many biographers must have been employed studying relatively mundane careers that never amounted to much. While the Roosevelt biographer's work became important archival information, what's the typical final product of biographers when their subjects don't amount to as much?

Additionally, when do people know it's time to hire a biographer? Seems like quite a step to make, but I noticed S.S McClure hired one pretty early on in his career.

Didn't have much luck googling this, but any insight you all can provide would be stupendous!

Source: reddit post


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