Paul Julius Reuter
The statue is made from granite and was unveiled in 1976 and was sculpted by Michael Black. The inscription, on the front of the bust, reads:
"Paul Julius / Reuter / Born 1816 Kassel Germany / died 1899 Nice France / Founded the world / news organisation / that bears his name / in No 1 Royal Exchange / Buildings in the City / of London near this / site on 14 October 1851"
Paul Julius Reuter was born Israel Beer Josaphat in Germany, but changed his name to Paul Julius Reuter upon his conversion to Christianity in 1845, a prerequisite to marrying the woman he loved. While working in a bank as a young man, he became a friends of local physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss, who was conducting experiments with the his era's groundbreaking technology, the electric telegraph. Later Reuter became involved in the Revolutions of 1848, challenging the authority of the German Confederation with protests demanding freedom of the press and a national assembly, and after the movement was suppressed he fled to France and later England, where he worked as a reporter.
In its earliest incarnation, his Reuters News Agency used carrier pigeons to send dispatches, but soon, combining journalism with his familiarity with the telegraph, it became a "news-wire service", using the telegraph to send news stories to subscribing newspapers. Over the following decades, his agency became the leading source for breaking news across Europe, with wire connections to Asia and North and South America by 1874. He retired in 1878, handing the business to his son, and died at his Villa Reuter mansion in 1899. Still a leader in journalism, the syndicate founded by Reuter is now known as Thomson Reuters. In a 1940 film based on his life, A Dispatch from Reuters, Reuter was played by Edward G. Robinson.