Joseph Pulitzer
Overview
 
Joseph Pulitzer born Politzer József, was a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism
New Journalism
New Journalism was a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included...

" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s and became a leading national figure in the Democratic party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. He crusaded against big business and corruption. In the 1890s the fierce competition between his World and 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...

's New York Journal introduced yellow journalism
Yellow journalism
Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism...

 and opened the way to mass circulation
Newspaper circulation
A newspaper's circulation is the number of copies it distributes on an average day. Circulation is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not always the same as copies sold, often called paid circulation, since some newspapers are distributed without cost to the...

 newspapers that depended on advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

 and appealed to the reader with multiple forms of news, entertainment and advertising.

Today he is best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

s.
The first Pulitzers emigrated from Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 to Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 at the end of the 18th century.
Encyclopedia
Joseph Pulitzer born Politzer József, was a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism
New Journalism
New Journalism was a style of 1960s and 1970s news writing and journalism which used literary techniques deemed unconventional at the time. The term was codified with its current meaning by Tom Wolfe in a 1973 collection of journalism articles he published as The New Journalism, which included...

" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s and became a leading national figure in the Democratic party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. He crusaded against big business and corruption. In the 1890s the fierce competition between his World and 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...

's New York Journal introduced yellow journalism
Yellow journalism
Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism...

 and opened the way to mass circulation
Newspaper circulation
A newspaper's circulation is the number of copies it distributes on an average day. Circulation is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not always the same as copies sold, often called paid circulation, since some newspapers are distributed without cost to the...

 newspapers that depended on advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 revenue
Revenue
In business, revenue is income that a company receives from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. In many countries, such as the United Kingdom, revenue is referred to as turnover....

 and appealed to the reader with multiple forms of news, entertainment and advertising.

Today he is best known for posthumously establishing the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

s.

Early life

The first Pulitzers emigrated from Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

 to Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 at the end of the 18th century. Joseph Pulitzer's native town was Makó
Makó
Makó is a town in Csongrád County in southeastern Hungary. It lies on the Maros River, near the Romanian border. The area of the town is of which is arable land. The climate is very warm with hot and dry summers. Makó and the surrounding region get the most sunshine in Hungary, about 85-90...

, about 200 kilometers southeast of Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

. The Pulitzers were among several Jewish families living in the area, and had established a reputation as merchants and shopkeeper
Shopkeeper
A shopkeeper is an individual who owns a shop. Generally, shop employees are not shopkeepers, but are often incorrectly referred to as shopkeepers. Today, a shopkeeper is usually referred to as a manager, though this term could apply to larger firms .*In many south asian languages like Hindi, Urdu,...

s. Joseph's father, Fülöp Pulitzer, was a respected businessman and was regarded as the "foremost merchant" of Makó. In 1853, Fülöp was rich enough to retire and move his family to Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, where the children were educated by private tutors and learned French and German. However, in 1858, after Fülöp's death, his business went bankrupt and the family became impoverished. Joseph attempted to enlist in various European armies before he finally emigrated to America.

Arriving in New York in 1864, he enlisted in the Lincoln Cavalry on September 30; he was 17. He was a part of Sheridan's troopers
Philip Sheridan
Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S...

, in the First New York Lincoln Cavalry in Company L. where he served for eight months. Although he spoke three languages: German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

, and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, he knew only a little English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and didn't learn it during the war due to the fact that his regiment was mostly composed of Germans.

After the war

After the war, he returned to New York City, where he stayed for a short while. He moved to New Bedford
New Bedford
-Places:*New Bedford, Illinois*New Bedford, Massachusetts, the most populous New Bedford**New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park*New Bedford, New Jersey *New Bedford, Ohio*New Bedford, Pennsylvania...

 for whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

, learned it was moribund
Moribund
Moribund refers to a literal or figurative state of near-death.Moribund may also refer to:* "Le Moribond", a song by Jacques Brel which became better known for its rewritten English-language version, "Seasons in the Sun"...

, and returned to New York with little money. He was flat broke and sleeping in wagons on cobble-stoned side streets. He decided to travel by side-door Pullman
Pullman (car or coach)
In the United States, Pullman was used to refer to railroad sleeping cars which were built and operated on most U.S. railroads by the Pullman Company from 1867 to December 31, 1968....

 (a euphemism
Euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 for a freight boxcar
Boxcar
A boxcar is a railroad car that is enclosed and generally used to carry general freight. The boxcar, while not the simplest freight car design, is probably the most versatile, since it can carry most loads...

) to St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

. He sold his one possession, a white handkerchief
Handkerchief
A handkerchief , also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose...

, for 75 cents. When he arrived to the city, he recalled "The lights of St. Louis looked like a promised land to me". In the city, German was as useful as it was in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

. In the Westliche Post
Westliche Post
Westliche Post was a German-American daily newspaper published in St. Louis, Missouri. The Westliche Post was Republican in politics. Carl Schurz was a part owner for a time, and served as a U.S. Senator from Missouri for a portion of that time.-History:The Westliche Post was established...

, he saw an ad for a mule
Mule
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny...

 hostler
Hostler
An hostler or ostler in the horse industry is a groom or stableman, who is employed in a stable to take care of horses...

 at Benton Barracks. The next day he walked four miles, got the job, but held it for a mere two days. He quit due to the food and the whims of the mules, stating "The man who has not cared for sixteen mules does not know what work and troubles are". He had difficulty holding jobs; either he was too scrawny for heavy labor
Manual labour
Manual labour , manual or manual work is physical work done by people, most especially in contrast to that done by machines, and also to that done by working animals...

 or too proud and temperamental to take orders.

One job he held was that of a waiter at Tony Fausts famous restaurant on Fifth Street. This was a place frequented by members of the St. Louis Philosophical Society, including Thomas Davidson
Thomas Davidson (philosopher)
Thomas Davidson was a Scottish-American philosopher and lecturer.-Biography:Davidson was born of Presbyterian parents at Old Deer, near Aberdeen. After graduating from Aberdeen University as first graduate and Greek prizeman, he held the position of rector of the grammar school of Old Aberdeen...

, fellow German and nephew of Otto Von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 Henry C. Brockmeyer, and William Torrey Harris
William Torrey Harris
William Torrey Harris was an American educator, philosopher, and lexicographer.-Early life and career:Born in North Killingly, Connecticut, he attended Phillips Andover Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. He completed two years at Yale, then moved west and taught school in St...

. He studied Brockmeyer, who was famous for translating Hegel, and he "would hang on Brockmeyer's thunderous words, even as he served them pretzels and beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

". He was soon fired after a tray slipped from his hand and soaked a patron. He would spend his free time at the St. Louis Mercantile Library
St. Louis Mercantile Library
The St. Louis Mercantile Library, founded in 1846 in St. Louis, Missouri, was originally established as a subscription library, and is the oldest extant library west of the Mississippi River. Since 1998 the library has been housed at the University of Missouri-St. Louis...

 on the corner of Fifth and Locust, studying English and reading voraciously. Soon after, he and several dozen men each paid a fast-talking promoter five dollars. He promised them well paying jobs on a Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 sugar plantation. They boarded a malodorous little steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

, which took them down river 30 miles south of the city. When the boat churned away, it appeared to them that it was a ruse
Deception
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth . Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment...

. They walked back to the city, where Joseph wrote an account of the fraud and was pleased when it was accepted by the Westliche Post, evidently his first published news story.

In the building was the Westliche Post which was co-edited by Dr. Emil Pretorius and Carl Schurz
Carl Schurz
Carl Christian Schurz was a German revolutionary, American statesman and reformer, and Union Army General in the American Civil War. He was also an accomplished journalist, newspaper editor and orator, who in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate.His wife,...

, attorneys
Attorney at law
An attorney at law in the United States is a practitioner in a court of law who is legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. Alternative terms include counselor and lawyer...

 William Patrick and Charles Phillip Johnson, and surgeon
Surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

 Joseph Nash McDowell. Patrick and Johnson referred to Pulitzer as "Shakespeare" because of his extraordinary profile. Patrick and Johnson helped him secure another job, this time with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad
Atlantic and Pacific Railroad
The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was a U.S. railroad that owned or operated two disjoint segments, one connecting St. Louis, Missouri with Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the other connecting Albuquerque, New Mexico with Southern California. It was incorporated by the U.S. Congress in 1866 as a...

.

He rode north to Janesville, Minnesota
Janesville, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,109 people, 816 households, and 580 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,653.3 people per square mile . There were 848 housing units at an average density of 664.8 per square mile...

, where many settlers refused to believe the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 was over. Pulitzer's job was to record the railroad charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 in the courthouse
Courthouse
A courthouse is a building that is home to a local court of law and often the regional county government as well, although this is not the case in some larger cities. The term is common in North America. In most other English speaking countries, buildings which house courts of law are simply...

s of the twelve counties it would pass through. When he was done the lawyers gave him desk space and access to their library where Pulitzer studied law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. On March 6, 1867, he renounced his allegiance to Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and became an American citizen. He still frequented the Mercantile Library where he befriended the librarian, Udo Brachvogel, with whom he remained friends for the rest of his life. He was often in the chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

 room where another player, Carl Schurz, noticed his aggressive game play. Schurz was looked up to by Pulitzer. He was an inspiring emblem of American
Americans
The people of the United States, also known as simply Americans or American people, are the inhabitants or citizens of the United States. The United States is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 Democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, of the success attainable by a foreign-born citizen through his own energies and skills. In 1868, he was admitted to the bar
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

, but his broken English and odd appearance kept clients away. He struggled with the execution of minor papers and the collecting of debts. It wasn't until 1868 when the Westliche Post needed a reporter that he was offered the job.

In 1898, Pulitzer's older daughter, Lucille Pulitzer, died at the age of 17 from typhoid fever after four months of suffering.

Newspaper career

Pulitzer displayed a flair for reporting. He would work 16 hours a day—from 10 AM to 2 AM. He was nicknamed "Joey the German" or "Joey the Jew". He joined the Philosophical Society and he frequented a German bookstore where many intellectuals hung out. Among his new repertoire of friends were Joseph Keppler and Thomas Davidson
Thomas Davidson (philosopher)
Thomas Davidson was a Scottish-American philosopher and lecturer.-Biography:Davidson was born of Presbyterian parents at Old Deer, near Aberdeen. After graduating from Aberdeen University as first graduate and Greek prizeman, he held the position of rector of the grammar school of Old Aberdeen...

.

He joined the Republican Party. On December 14, 1869, Pulitzer attended the Republican meeting at the St. Louis Turnhalle on Tenth Street, where party leaders needed a candidate to fill a vacancy in the state legislature. They settled on Pulitzer, nominating him unanimously, forgetting he was only 22, three years under the required age. His chief Democratic opponent was of doubtful eligibility because he had served in the Confederate army. Pulitzer had energy. He organized street meetings, called personally on the voters, and exhibited such sincerity along with his oddities that he had pumped a half-amused excitement into a campaign that was normally lethargic. He won 209-147. His age was not made an issue and he was seated as a state representative in Jefferson City at the session beginning January 5, 1870. He had only lived there for two years, an example of quick accomplishment of political power. He also moved him up one notch in the administration at the Westliche Post. He eventually became its managing editor, and obtained a proprietary interest.

In 1872 he was a delegate to the Cincinnati convention of the Liberal Republican Party
Liberal Republican Party (United States)
The Liberal Republican Party of the United States was a political party that was organized in Cincinnati in May 1872, to oppose the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant and his Radical Republican supporters. The party's candidate in that year's presidential election was Horace Greeley, longtime...

 which nominated Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley was an American newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery...

 for the presidency. However, the attempt at electing Greeley as president failed, the party collapsed, and Pulitzer, disillusioned with the corruption in the GOP, switched to the Democratic party. In 1880 he was a delegate to the Democratic national convention, and a member of its platform committee from Missouri.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In 1872, Pulitzer purchased a share in the Westliche Post for $3,000, and then sold his stake in the paper for a profit in 1873. In 1879 he bought the St. Louis Dispatch, and the St. Louis Post and merged the two papers as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the Midwestern United States, and is available and read as far west as Kansas City, Missouri, as far south as...

, which remains St. Louis's daily newspaper. It was at the Post-Dispatch that Pulitzer developed his role as a champion of the common man with exposés and a hard-hitting populist approach.

New York World

In 1883, Pulitzer, by then a wealthy man, purchased the New York World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

, a newspaper that had been losing $40,000 a year, for $346,000 from Jay Gould
Jay Gould
Jason "Jay" Gould was a leading American railroad developer and speculator. He has long been vilified as an archetypal robber baron, whose successes made him the ninth richest American in history. Condé Nast Portfolio ranked Gould as the 8th worst American CEO of all time...

. Pulitzer shifted its focus to human-interest stories, scandal, and sensationalism. In 1884, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but resigned after a few months' service on account of the pressure of journalistic duties. In 1887, he recruited the famous investigative journalist Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly was the pen name of American pioneer female journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran. She remains notable for two feats: a record-breaking trip around the world in emulation of Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from...

. In 1895 the World introduced the immensely popular The Yellow Kid
The Yellow Kid
The Yellow Kid emerged as the lead character in Hogan's Alley, drawn by Richard F. Outcault, which became one of the first Sunday supplement comic strips in an American newspaper, although its graphical layout had already been thoroughly established in political and other, purely-for-entertainment...

 comic by Richard F. Outcault
Richard F. Outcault
Richard Felton Outcault was an American comic strip writer-artist. He was the creator of the series The Yellow Kid and Buster Brown, and he is considered the inventor of the modern comic strip.-Early life:...

, the first newspaper comic printed with color. Under Pulitzer's leadership circulation grew from 15,000 to 600,000, making it the largest newspaper in the country.

Charles A. Dana, the editor of the rival New York Sun
New York Sun (historical)
The Sun was a New York newspaper that was published from 1833 until 1950. It was considered a serious paper, like the city's two more successful broadsheets, The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune...

 attacked Pulitzer in print, often using anti-semitic terms like "Judas Pulitzer".

In 1895, 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...

 purchased the rival New York Journal from Pulitzer's brother, Albert, which led to a circulation war. This competition with Hearst, particularly the coverage before and during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, linked Pulitzer's name with yellow journalism
Yellow journalism
Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism...

.

Pulitzer had an uncanny knack for appealing to the common man. His World featured illustrations, advertising, and a culture of consumption for working men who, Pulitzer believed, saved money to enjoy life with their families when they could, at Coney Island for example. Crusades for reform and news of entertainment were the two main staples for the 'World.' Before the demise of the paper in 1931, many of the best reporters in America worked for it.

After the World exposed an illegal payment of $40 million by the United States to the French Panama Canal Company in 1909, Pulitzer was indicted for libeling Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and J. P. Morgan
J. P. Morgan
John Pierpont Morgan was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric...

. The courts dismissed the indictments.

Editors

Pulitzer's already failing health deteriorated rapidly and he withdrew from the daily management of the newspaper, although he continued to actively manage the paper from his vacation retreat in Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population is 5,235. Bar Harbor is a famous summer colony in the Down East region of Maine. It is home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory and Mount Desert Island...

, and his New York mansion.

Frank I. Cobb
Frank I. Cobb
Frank Irving Cobb was an American journalist. He succeeded Joseph Pulitzer as editor of The New York World, owned by Joseph Pulitzer. Cobb became famous for his editorials in support of the policies of liberal Democrats such as Woodrow Wilson.-Career:Cobb was born to a Yankee farm family in...

 (1869–1923) was hired as the editor of the New York 'World,' and resisted Pulitzer's attempts to "run the office" from his home. However hard the elder man might try, he simply could not keep from meddling with Cobb's work. Time after time they battled each other, often with heated language. While they found common ground in their support of Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 as president, they disagreed on many other issues. When Pulitzer's son took over administrative responsibility in 1907, Pulitzer wrote a precisely worded resignation which was printed in every New York paper – except the World. Pulitzer raged at the insult, but slowly began to respect Cobb's editorials and independent spirit. Exchanges, commentaries, and messages between them increased. The good rapport between the two was based largely on Cobb's flexibility. In May 1908, Cobb and Pulitzer met to outline plans for a consistent editorial policy. However, the editorial policy did waver on occasion. Renewed battles broke out over the most trivial matters. Pulitzer's demands for editorials on contemporary breaking news led to overwork by Cobb. Pulitzer revealed concern by sending him on a six-week tour of Europe to restore his spirit. Pulitzer died shortly after Cobb's return; then Cobb published Pulitzer's beautifully written resignation. Cobb retained the editorial policies he had shared with Pulitzer until he died of cancer in 1923.

Once, Professor Thomas Davidson asked of Pulitzer in a company meeting, “I cannot understand why it is, Mr. Pulitzer, that you always speak so kindly of reporters and so severely of all editors.” “Well,” Pulitzer replied, “I suppose it is because every reporter is a hope, and every editor is a disappointment.” This phrase became a famous epigram
Epigram
An epigram is a brief, interesting, usually memorable and sometimes surprising statement. Derived from the epigramma "inscription" from ἐπιγράφειν epigraphein "to write on inscribe", this literary device has been employed for over two millennia....

 of journalism.

For a period of six months during 1907, the South African writer, poet and medical doctor, C. Louis Leipoldt
C. Louis Leipoldt
Dr. Christian Frederik Louis Leipoldt was a South African poet, who wrote inthe Afrikaans language. Together with Jan F. E. Celliers and...

, was Pulitzer's personal physician aboard his yacht.

En route to his winter home on Jekyll Island, Georgia, Joseph Pulitzer died aboard his yacht. He is interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery
Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx
Woodlawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City and is a designated National Historic Landmark.A rural cemetery located in the Bronx, it opened in 1863, in what was then southern Westchester County, in an area that was annexed to New York City in 1874.The cemetery covers more...

 in The Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, New York.

Death

Pulitzer died aboard his yacht, the Liberty, in Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina, on October 29, 1911. He had been sailing for Jekyll Island, Georgia, where he owned a summer home, and his yacht had been in Charleston for five days before his death. His last words came while having his German secretary read to him about King Louis XI of France. As the secretary neared the end of the account, Pulitzer said his last words: "Leise, ganz leise" (English: "Softly, quite softly").

Journalism schools

In 1892, Pulitzer offered Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

's president, Seth Low
Seth Low
Seth Low , born in Brooklyn, New York, was an American educator and political figure who served as mayor of Brooklyn, as President of Columbia University, as diplomatic representative of the United States, and as Mayor of New York City...

, money to set up the world's first school of journalism. The university initially turned down the money, evidently turned off by Pulitzer's odd personality. In 1902, Columbia's new president Nicholas Murray Butler was more receptive to the plan for a school and prizes, but it would not be until after Pulitzer's death that this dream would be fulfilled. Pulitzer left the university $2 million in his will, which led to the creation in 1934 of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is one of Columbia's graduate and professional schools. It offers three degree programs: Master of Science in journalism , Master of Arts in journalism and a Ph.D. in communications...

, but by then at Pulitzer's urging the Missouri School of Journalism
Missouri School of Journalism
The Missouri School of Journalism at University of Missouri in Columbia, claims to be the oldest formal journalism school in the world. Founded in 1908, only the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris established in 1899 may be older...

 had been created at the University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

. Both schools remain among the most prestigious in the world.

Pulitzer Prize

In 1917, the first Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

s were awarded, in accordance with Pulitzer's wishes.

Other hommages

In 1989 Pulitzer was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame
St. Louis Walk of Fame
The St. Louis Walk of Fame honors well-known people from St. Louis, Missouri, who made contributions to culture of the United States. All inductees were either born in the Greater St. Louis area or spent their formative or creative years there...

. A fictionalized version of Joseph Pulitzer is portrayed by Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 in the 1992 Disney film musical, Newsies
Newsies
Newsies is a 1992 Disney musical film starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie is widely claimed to have gained a cult following after its initial failure at the box office...

. He is the main antagonist of that film.
There is also a school in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York named after Pulitzer.

See also

  • Place des États-Unis
    Place des États-Unis
    The Place des États-Unis is a public space in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France, about 500 m south of the Place de l'Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe....

  • The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
    The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
    The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri opened in 2001 with a building designed by internationally renowned architect, Tadao Ando. The Pulitzer is located at 3716 Washington Boulevard ....

  • I.S.145
    I.S.145
    I.S.145 Joseph Pulitzer is a middle school in Jackson Heights, Queens in New York City which serves 2,039 middle school for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. The school is named after the Hungarian-American publisher, Joseph Pulitzer. The principal at this time is Dr. Dolores Beckham...

     Joseph Pulitzer middle school in Jackson Heights, Queens
    Jackson Heights, Queens
    Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in the Northwestern portion of the borough of Queens in New York, New York, United States. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3...

    , New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

    .

Further reading

  • Brian, Denis. Pulitzer: A Life (2001) online edition
  • Morris, James M. Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power (2010), a scholarly biography
  • Morris, James McGrath. "The Political Education of Joseph Pulitzer," Missouri Historical Review, Jan 2010, Vol. 104 Issue 2, pp 78–94 Retrieved on 2008-11-06
  • Pfaff, Daniel W. Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-dispatch (1991)
  • Rammelkamp, Julian S. Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch 1878–1883 (1967)
  • W.A. Swanberg
    W.A. Swanberg
    William Andrew Swanberg, , pen-name W.A. Swanberg, was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning American biographer. He is perhaps best known for Citizen Hearst, his biography of William Randolph Hearst. He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1907 and earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota in 1930. He...

    . Pulitzer (1967) http://books.google.com/books?id=KdQFAAAAIAAJ&q=pulitzer+w.a.+swanberg&dq=pulitzer+w.a.+swanberg&pgis=1, popular

External links


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