Julian Street attended Ridley from 1893 to 1896. A founder of Acta Ridleiana, he wrote frequently to the school’s magazine after graduation and drew several front covers for early editions. He always credited his work with Acta as the foundation of his own successful writing career in the United States. Born in Chicago, he became a reporter on the New York Mail and Express in 1899 and had charge of its dramatic department in 1900-01. His writings, characterized by a rather obvious but yet a genuine sense of humour, included nine novels. He also made contributions to magazines.
Street twice won an O. Henry Award. His short story, Mr. Bisbee's Princess, published in Redbook and anthologized in Great American Short Stories: O. Henry Memorial Prize Winning Stories 1919-1934, won the award in 1925. The story was adapted as the 1926 W.C. Fields silent film, So's Your Old Man. In 1915 he published a book on Theodore Roosevelt, called The Most Interesting American. He is credited with being the art critic who wrote that the painting exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show by Marcel Duchamp called Nude Descending a Staircase, resembled "an explosion in a shingle factory."
Julian moved to Princeton in the 1920s. The university houses his manuscript collection and a library at Princeton is named after him. Julian died in 1947. Ridley’s Julian Street Memorial Prize for Prose was established and endowed in his memory by his wife in 1947.