Henry Louis Mencken was born on Lexington Street on September 12, 1880. His father hoped his eldest son would continue the family cigar manufacturing business, but after his father's death in 1899, Mencken headed straight for the Baltimore Morning Herald. By the age of 25, he was the paper's editor-in-chief. When the Herald folded in 1906, Mencken began his long association with the Baltimore Sunpapers, where his outspoken and entertaining views soon won him a national following.
Besides his work as a journalist, the "Sage of Baltimore" was a literary critic, a magazine editor, an authority on American linguistics, and amateur musician and a humorous critic of American life. During the Twenties, his influence as an iconoclast was so widespread that The New York Times called him "the most powerful private citizen in the United States."
Mencken and his family moved into this house in 1883. He lived there until his death on January 29, 1956.