Joseph Medill Patterson
Joseph Medill Patterson (January 6, 1879 – May 26, 1946) was an American journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 and publisher, grandson of publisher Joseph Medill
Joseph Medill
Joseph Medill was an American newspaper editor and publisher, and politician. He was co-owner and managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, and was Mayor of Chicago.-Biography:...

, founder of the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

and a mayor of Chicago, Illinois.


His younger sister was publisher Cissy Patterson
Cissy Patterson
Eleanor Josephine Medill "Cissy" Patterson was an American journalist and newspaper editor, publisher and owner...

. He was the father of publisher Alicia Patterson
Alicia Patterson
Alicia Patterson was the founder and editor of Newsday.-Life:A daughter of Alice and Joseph Medill Patterson, the founder of the New York Daily News and the great-granddaughter of Joseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Alicia Patterson found her calling late in life when her third husband,...

, who founded and edited Newsday
Newsday is a daily American newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island, although it is sold throughout the New York metropolitan area...

. His father was Robert W. Patterson Jr., a journalist at the Chicago Tribune who married the owner's daughter and rose to prominence at the Tribune.


Joseph Medill Patterson became one of the most significant newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 publishers in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, founding New York's Daily News and introducing the tabloid. He was groomed to follow in the footsteps of his famous grandfather. His mother, Elinor ("Nellie"), and his aunt, Kate, both named their firstborn sons after their famous father. As a young adult, he asked his father if he could go to China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to cover the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

. Granted permission, he went as a correspondent for William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst was an American business magnate and leading newspaper publisher. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father...

 but did not arrive in time. He attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 where he was a member of Scroll and Key
Scroll and Key
The Scroll and Key Society is a secret society, founded in 1842 at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. It is the wealthiest and second oldest Yale secret society...


Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago, and covered the police beat for the Chicago Tribune. Patterson served in Illinois legislature briefly, married and was the father of three daughters by 1906. The youngest, Alicia, explained, “He had wanted a boy, instead of three daughters in succession, and that meant one of the Patterson girls would have to be his substitute son.” Nearly 20 years later, in 1923, after his three daughters had become young women, his mistress (and future wife) gave birth to his only son, James Joseph Patterson
James Joseph Patterson
James Joseph Patterson was an American newspaper executive who was part of an influential publishing family.-Life:Patterson was born in England in 1923 and raised in Ossining, New York....

, in England.

Joseph Medill Patterson feuded with his father and resigned from the Tribune. He announced he was a socialist and wrote a muckraking article published in Collier's
Collier's Weekly
Collier's Weekly was an American magazine founded by Peter Fenelon Collier and published from 1888 to 1957. With the passage of decades, the title was shortened to Collier's....

. Patterson moved to a farm in the country, wrote a novel and returned to work at the Tribune by 1910.

After his father died, Patterson took over the management of the Tribune. He had a dispute about how to run the Tribune with his cousin, Robert R. McCormick
Robert R. McCormick
Robert Rutherford "Colonel" McCormick was a member of the McCormick family of Chicago who became owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper...

. After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 ended, he visited London and observed a newspaper in tabloid form for the first time. Patterson moved to New York City and founded the New York Daily News
New York Daily News
The Daily News of New York City is the fourth most widely circulated daily newspaper in the United States with a daily circulation of 605,677, as of November 1, 2011....

as a tabloid on June 26, 1919, with McCormick as co-editor and publisher. However, the two were unable to resolve their dispute, so in 1925 Patterson ceded full authority over the Tribune to McCormick in return for full control of the Daily News.

Initially, the Daily News was somewhat more liberal than the Tribune. However, over the years, it became more conservative as Patterson drifted rightward.

Comic strips

He took a hands-on approach to managing the various comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 properties in his papers. He suggested the lead character of Gasoline Alley
Gasoline Alley
Gasoline Alley is a comic strip created by Frank King and currently distributed by Tribune Media Services. First published November 24, 1918, it is the second longest running comic strip in the US and has received critical accolades for its influential innovations...

adopt a foundling child who became Skeezix, a central character in the strip. Patterson influenced Chester Gould's Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy is a comic strip featuring Dick Tracy, a hard-hitting, fast-shooting and intelligent police detective. Created by Chester Gould, the strip made its debut on October 4, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror. It was distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate...

, changing the title from Plainclothes Tracy, and he supported Gould's vision of a technical, grotesque and violent style of storytelling. Milton Caniff
Milton Caniff
Milton Arthur Paul Caniff was an American cartoonist famous for the Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon comic strips.-Biography:...

 credited Patterson for suggesting a comic strip about the Orient, which led to the creation of Caniff's Terry and the Pirates
Terry and the Pirates
Terry and the Pirates is the title of:* Terry and the Pirates , the comic strip created by Milton Caniff* Terry and the Pirates , a radio serial based on the comic strip...


Caniff recounted Patterson's role in creating Terry in a Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

profile, "Escape Artist" (Monday, January 13, 1947):
Patterson... stared coldly at Caniff and asked: "Ever do anything on the Orient?" Caniff hadn't. "You know," Joe Patterson mused, "adventure can still happen out there. There could be a beautiful lady pirate, the kind men fall for." In a few days Caniff was back with samples and 50 proposed titles; Patterson circled Terry and scribbled beside it and the Pirates.

His son, James
James Joseph Patterson
James Joseph Patterson was an American newspaper executive who was part of an influential publishing family.-Life:Patterson was born in England in 1923 and raised in Ossining, New York....

, would serve as vice president and assistant managing editor of the Daily News. One of Patterson's grandsons, Joseph Medill Patterson Albright
Joseph Medill Patterson Albright
-Biography:Albright is the scion of a media empire, the grandson and namesake of Joseph Medill Patterson, founder of the New York Daily News who had rivaled William Randolph Hearst in the 1930s. His great-great grandfather, Joseph Medill, owned the Chicago Tribune and had been elected mayor of...

, was married to future US Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

 for about 23 years. Patterson is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...


External links

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