Joseph Pulitzer


Joseph Pulitzer ( ; born József Pulitzer; ; April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911) was a
Hungarian-American Hungarian Americans (Hungarian language, Hungarian: ''amerikai magyarok'') are United States, Americans of Hungarian people, Hungarian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that there are approximately 1.396 million Americans of Hungarian ...
politician and newspaper
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of the '' St. Louis Post-Dispatch'' and the ''
New York World The ''New York World'' was a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a ...
''. He became a leading national figure in the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
and was elected congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption, and helped keep the
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Statue of Liberty
in New York. In the 1890s the fierce competition between his ''World'' and
William Randolph Hearst William Randolph Hearst Sr. (; April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician known for developing the nation's largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications Hearst Commu ...

William Randolph Hearst
's ''
New York Journal :''Includes coverage of New York Journal-American and its predecessors New York Journal, The Journal, New York American and New York Evening Journal'' 240px, The front page of the June 26, 1906 issue of the ''New York American'', prior to merger ...
'' caused both to develop the techniques of
yellow journalism Yellow journalism and yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate, well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques may include ex ...
, which won over readers with sensationalism, sex, crime and graphic horrors. The wide appeal reached a million copies a day and opened the way to mass-circulation newspapers that depended on advertising revenue (rather than cover price or political party subsidies) and appealed to readers with multiple forms of news, gossip, entertainment and advertising. Today, his name is best known for the
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
s, which were established in 1917 as a result of his endowment to
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...
. The prizes are given annually to recognize and reward excellence in American journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music, and drama. Pulitzer founded the
Columbia School of Journalism The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is the journalism school of Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private ...
by his philanthropic bequest; it opened in 1912.

Early life

He was born as Pulitzer József (name order by Hungarian custom) in Makó, about 200 km south-east of
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city ...

in Hungary, the son of Elize (Berger) and Fülöp Pulitzer (born Politzer). The Pulitzers were among several
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is t ...
families living in the area and had established a reputation as merchants and shopkeepers. Joseph's father was a respected businessman, regarded as the second of the "foremost merchants" of Makó. Their ancestors emigrated from
Police The police are a constituted body of persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic by Logical consequence, drawing con ...
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medi ...

Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence ...
at the end of the 18th century. In 1853, Fülöp Pulitzer was rich enough to retire. He moved his family to
Pest Pest or The Pest may refer to: Science and medicine * Pest (organism), an animal or plant detrimental to humans or human concerns ** Weed, a plant considered undesirable * Infectious disease, an illness resulting from an infection ** Plague (diseas ...
, where he had the children educated by private tutors, and taught French and German. In 1858, after Fülöp's death, his business went bankrupt, and the family became impoverished. Joseph attempted to enlist in various European armies for work before emigrating to the United States. Pulitzer arrived in Boston in 1864 at the age of 17, his passage having been paid by Massachusetts military recruiters who were seeking soldiers for the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and south ...
. Learning that the recruiters were pocketing the lion's share of his enlistment bounty, Pulitzer left the Deer Island recruiting station and made his way to New York. He was paid $200 to enroll in the Lincoln Cavalry on September 30. He was a part of
Sheridan's troopers
Sheridan's troopers
, in the 1st New York Cavalry Regiment in Company L., where he served for eight months. Although he spoke German, Hungarian, and French, Pulitzer learned little English until after the war, as his regiment was composed mostly of German immigrants.

Early career in St. Louis

After the war, Pulitzer returned to New York City, where he stayed briefly. He moved to
New Bedford New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts ...
, Massachusetts, for the
whaling Number of whales killed through time Whaling is the process of hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife or feral animals. The most common reasons for humans to hunt are to harvest useful animal ...

industry, but found it was too boring for him. He returned to New York with little money. Flat broke, he slept in wagons on cobblestone side streets. He decided to travel by "side-door Pullman" (a freight boxcar) to
St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. With more than six million residents, it is the List of U.S. states and territor ...

St. Louis, Missouri
. He sold his one possession, a white handkerchief, for 75 cents. When Pulitzer arrived at the city, he recalled, "The lights of St. Louis looked like a promised land to me." In the city, his German was as useful as it was in
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, a ...

because of the large ethnic German population, due to strong immigration since the
revolutions of 1848 The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Springtime of the Peoples or the Springtime of Nations, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It remains the most widespread revolutionary wave in European history ...
. In the ''
Westliche Post ''Westliche Post'' (literally ''"Western Post"'') was a German language, German-language daily newspaper published in St. Louis, Missouri. The ''Westliche Post'' was Republican Party (United States), Republican in politics. Carl Schurz was a part ...
'', he saw an ad for a mule hostler at Benton Barracks. The next day he walked four miles and got the job, but held it for only two days. He quit due to the poor 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." Pulitzer had difficulty holding jobs; he was too scrawny for heavy labor and likely too proud and temperamental to take orders. He worked as a waiter at ''Tony Faust,'' a famous restaurant on Fifth Street. It was frequented by members of the St. Louis Philosophical Society, including Thomas Davidson (philosopher), Thomas Davidson, the German Henry C. Brockmeyer, a nephew of Otto von Bismarck; and William Torrey Harris. Pulitzer 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." He was fired after a tray slipped from his hand and a patron was soaked in beer. Pulitzer spent his free time at the St. Louis Mercantile Library on the corner of Fifth and Locust, studying English and reading voraciously. He made a lifelong friend there in the librarian Udo Brachvogel. He often played in the library's chess room, where Carl Schurz noticed his aggressive style. Pulitzer greatly admired the German-born Schurz, an emblem of the success attainable by a foreign-born citizen through his own energies and skills. In 1868, Pulitzer was admitted to the Bar association, bar, but his broken English and odd appearance kept clients away. He struggled with the execution of minor papers and the collecting of debts. That year, when the ''Westliche Post'' needed a reporter, he was offered the job. Soon after, he and several dozen men each paid a fast-talking promoter five dollars, after being promised good-paying jobs on a Louisiana sugar plantation. They boarded a steamboat, which took them downriver 30 miles south of the city, where the crew forced them off. When the boat churned away, the men concluded the promised plantation jobs had been a ruse. They walked back to the city, where Pulitzer wrote an account of the fraud and was pleased when it was accepted by the ''Westliche Post'', edited by Dr. Emil Preetorius and Carl Schurz, evidently his first published news story. On March 6, 1867, Pulitzer became a naturalized American citizen.

Entry to journalism and politics

In the ''Westliche Post'' building, Pulitzer made the acquaintance of Attorney at law, attorneys William Patrick and Charles Phillip Johnson and surgeon Joseph Nash McDowell. Patrick and Johnson referred to Pulitzer as "Shakespeare" because of his extraordinary profile. They helped him secure a job with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. His work was to record the railroad land deeds in the twelve counties in southwest Missouri where the railroad planned to build a line. When he was done, the lawyers gave him desk space and allowed him to study law in their library to prepare for the bar. Pulitzer displayed a flair for reporting. He would work 16 hours a dayfrom 10 am to 2 am. He was nicknamed "Joey the German" or "Joey the Jew". He joined the Philosophical Society and frequented a German bookstore where many intellectuals hung out. Among his new group of friends were Joseph Keppler and Thomas Davidson (philosopher), Thomas Davidson.

Missouri State Representative

Pulitzer joined Schurz's History of the Republican Party (United States), 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. After their first choice refused, they settled on Pulitzer, nominating him unanimously, forgetting he was only 22, three years under the required age. However, his chief Democratic opponent was possibly ineligible 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. During his time in Jefferson City, Pulitzer voted in favor of the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fifteenth Amendment and led a crusade to reform the corrupt St. Louis County Court. His fight against the court angered Captain Edward Augustine, Superintendent of Registration for St. Louis County. Their rivalry became so heated that on the night of January 27, Augustine confronted Pulitzer at Schmidt's Hotel and called him a "damned liar." Pulitzer left the building, returned to his room, and retrieved a four-barreled pistol. He returned to the parlor and approached Augustine, renewing the argument. When Augustine advanced on Pulitzer, the young Representative aimed his pistol at the Captain's midriff. Augustine tackled Pulitzer, and the gun fired two shots, tearing through Augustine's knee and the hotel floor. Pulitzer suffered a head wound. Contemporary accounts conflict on whether Augustine was also armed. While in Jefferson City, Pulitzer also moved up one notch in the administration at the ''Westliche Post''. He eventually became its managing editor, and obtained a proprietary interest.Brian (2001)

Break from the Republican Party and Schurz

On August 31, 1870, Schurz (now a U.S. Senator), Pulitzer, and other reformist anti-Grant Republicans bolted from the state convention at the Missouri State Capitol, Capitol and nominated a competing Liberal Republican ticket for Missouri, led by the former Senator Benjamin Gratz Brown. Brown was successful in the November election over the mainline Republican ticket, presenting a serious threat to President Grant's re-election chances. On January 19, 1872, Brown appointed Pulitzer to the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. In May 1872, Pulitzer was a delegate to the Cincinnati convention of the Liberal Republican Party (United States), Liberal Republican Party, which nominated ''New York Tribune'' editor Horace Greeley for the presidency with Gratz Brown as his running mate. Pulitzer and Schurz were expected to boost Governor Brown for the presidential nomination, but Schurz preferred the more idealist Charles Francis Adams Sr. A loyal Brown man alerted the Governor of this betrayal, and Governor Brown and his cousin Francis Preston Blair sped to Cincinnati to rally their supporters to Greeley. While in Cincinnati, he met fellow reformist newspapermen Samuel Bowles (journalist), Samuel Bowles, Murat Halstead, Horace White (writer), Horace White, and Alexander McClure. He also met Greeley's assistant and campaign manager Whitelaw Reid, who would become Pulitzer's journalistic adversary. However, Greeley's campaign was ultimately a disaster, and the new party collapsed, leaving Schurz and Pulitzer politically homeless. In 1874, Pulitzer promoted a reform movement christened the People's Party, which united the Grange with dissident Republicans. However, Pulitzer was disappointed with the party's tepid stances on the issues and mediocre ticket, led by gentleman farmer William Gentry. He returned to St. Louis and endorsed the Democratic ticket. Pulitzer's own views were in line with Democratic orthodoxy on low tariffs, personal limited, and limited federal powers; his prior opposition to the Democrats was out of disgust for slavery and the Confederate rebellion. Pulitzer campaigned for the Democratic ticket throughout the state and published a damaging rumor (leaked by future Senator George Graham Vest, George Vest) that Gentry had sold a slave. He also served as a delegate to the 1874 Missouri Constitutional Convention representing St. Louis, arguing successfully for true home rule for the city. In 1876, Pulitzer, by now completely disillusioned with the corruption of the Republicans and their nomination of Rutherford B. Hayes, gave nearly 70 speeches in favor of Democratic candidate Samuel J. Tilden throughout the country; Schurz, who saw Hayes as a reformer with integrity, returned to the Republican fold. In his speeches, Pulitzer denounced Schurz and urged reconciliation between North and South. While on his speaking tour, Pulitzer also wrote dispatches to the ''The New York Sun, New York Sun'' on behalf of the Tilden campaign. After Tilden's narrow defeat under dubious circumstances, Pulitzer became disillusioned with his candidate's indecision and timid response; he would oppose Tilden's 1880 run for the Democratic nomination. For now, he returned to St. Louis to practice law and search for future opportunities in news.

''St. Louis Post-Dispatch''

On his thirtieth birthday, Pulitzer's home at the Southern Hotel burned to the ground, likely destroying most of his personal belongings and papers. On December 9, 1878, Pulitzer bought the moribund ''St. Louis Dispatch'' and merged it with John Dillon's ''St. Louis Post'', forming the ''St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Post and Dispatch'' (soon renamed the ''Post-Dispatch'') on December 12. With his own paper, Pulitzer developed his role as a champion of the common man, featuring exposés and a hard-hitting populist approach. The paper was considered a leader in the field of Sensationalism, sensational journalism.Swanberg, ''Pulitzer'', p. 44 The circulation of the ''Post-Dispatch'' steadily rose during Pulitzer's early tenure (aided by the collapse of the city's other daily English-language paper, the ''Star''). At the time of merger, the Post and Dispatch had a combined circulation of under 4,000. By the end of 1879, circulation was up to 4,984 and Pulitzer doubled the size of the paper to eight pages. By the end of 1880, circulation was up to 8,740. Circulation rose dramatically to 12,000 by March 1881 and to 22,300 by September 1882. Pulitzer bought two new presses and increased staff pay to the highest in the city, though he also crushed an attempt to unionize.

Political activism

Pulitzer's primary political rival at this time was Bourbon Democrat William Hyde (journalist), William Hyde, publisher of the (misleadingly named) ''Missouri Republican''. Pulitzer's much smaller paper won a series of early political skirmishes over Hyde. First, George Vest was elected to the Senate in 1879 with Pulitzer's backing over Bourbon Samuel Glover. Next, Pulitzer secured election for an anti-Tilden delegation (including himself) to the 1880 Democratic National Convention, over Hyde's objection. Though Pulitzer could not convince Horatio Seymour, his preferred candidate, to run, the Democrats did not renominate Tilden. In March 1880, the two men even came to physical blows on Olive Street (St. Louis), Olive Street but were separated by a crowd before either was injured. In 1880, Pulitzer made a second run for public office, this time for United States Representative from Missouri's 2nd congressional district, Missouri's second district. However, he was resoundingly defeated for the Democratic nomination (tantamount to victory in heavily Democratic St. Louis) by Bourbon Thomas Allen (representative), Thomas Allen, 4,254 to 709.

Killing of Alonzo Slayback

When Thomas Allen died during his first term, Pulitzer's ''Post-Dispatch'' strongly opposed the ''Republican'''s endorsed candidate, James Broadhead, an attorney working for Jay Gould. The election became heated, and ''Post-Dispatch'' managing editor John Cockerill called Broadhead's law partner Alonzo W. Slayback, Alonzo Slayback a "coward." Slayback entered the ''Post-Dispatch'' offices on October 13, armed with a gun, and threatened Cockerill; Cockerill shot him dead. The story became a national sensation and turned many conservative Democrats vehemently against Pulitzer and the ''Post-Dispatch''. After a grand jury inquest, Cockerill was never put on trial. Pulitzer replaced him with John Dillon, former owner of the ''Post'' and unlike Pulitzer and Cockerill, a well-respected, conservative native of the city. However, the incident permanently damaged Pulitzer's reputation in the city, and he began to seek opportunities elsewhere.

''New York World''

In April 1883, the Pulitzer family traveled to New York, ostensibly to launch a European vacation, but actually so that Joseph could make an offer to Jay Gould for ownership of the morning ''
New York World The ''New York World'' was a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a ...
''. Gould had acquired the newspaper as a throw-in in one of his railroad deals, and it had been losing about $40,000 a year, possibly due to the stigma Gould's ownership brought. In return for the paper, Gould asked Pulitzer for a sum well over a half-million dollars, as well as the retention of the World's current staff and building. After some frustration at this request and disagreement with his brother Albert, Pulitzer was prepared to give up. At the urging of his wife Kate, however, he returned to negotiations with Gould. They agreed to a sale of $346,000 with Pulitzer retaining full freedom in the selection of staff. The Pulitzers moved to New York full time, leasing a home in Gramercy Park. The World immediately gained 6,000 readers in its first two weeks under Pulitzer and had more than doubled its circulation to 39,000 within three months. As he had in St. Louis, Pulitzer emphasized sensational stories: human-interest, crime, disasters, and scandal. Under Pulitzer's leadership, circulation grew from 15,000 to 600,000, making the ''World'' the largest newspaper in the country. Pulitzer emphasized broad appeal through short, provocative headlines and sentences; the World's self-described style was "brief, breezy and briggity." His ''World'' featured illustrations, advertising, and a culture of consumption for working men. Crusades for reform and entertainment news were two main staples for the ''World''. In 1887, he recruited the famous Investigative journalism, investigative journalist Nellie Bly. Pulitzer was also involved with the construction of the New York World Building, designed by George B. Post and completed in 1890. Pulitzer dictated several aspects of the design, including the building's triple-height main entrance arch, dome, and rounded corner at Park Row and Frankfort Street. In 1895, the ''World'' introduced the immensely popular ''The Yellow Kid'' comic by Richard F. Outcault, one of the first strips to be featured in the newly launched Sunday color supplement shortly after. After the ''World'' exposed an illegal payment of $40,000,000 by the United States to the French Panama Canal Company in 1909, Pulitzer was indicted for libeling Theodore Roosevelt and J. P. Morgan. The courts dismissed the indictments.

Early political activism

When Pulitzer purchased the ''World'', New York City, though overwhelmingly Democratic, did not have a major Democratic newspaper. The ''Tribune'' (under Whitelaw Reid) and ''Times'' were ardently Republican and the ''Sun'' (under Charles A. Dana (philanthropist), Charles Dana) and ''Herald'' were independent In the first issue under his ownership, Pulitzer announced the paper would be "dedicated to the cause of the people rather than that of purse-potentates." In 1884, he joined the Manhattan Club, a group of wealthy Democrats including Tilden, Abram Hewitt, and William Collins Whitney, William C. Whitney. Through the ''World'', he supported the campaign of New York Governor Grover Cleveland for President. Pulitzer's campaign for Cleveland and against Republican James G. Blaine may have been pivotal in securing the presidency for Cleveland, who won New York's decisive votes by just 0.1%. The campaign also boosted the ''World'''s circulation dramatically; by Election Day, it averaged about 110,000 copies per day and its Election Day special ran 223,680 copies. Pulitzer also attacked young Republican Assemblyman Theodore Roosevelt as a "reform fraud," beginning a long and heated rivalry with the future President.

United States House of Representatives

In 1884, Pulitzer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's ninth district as a Democratic Party (United States), Democrat and entered office on March 4, 1885. Though inundated with office-seekers hoping for appointment by President-elect Cleveland, Pulitzer recommended only the appointments of Charles Gibson for Minister to Berlin and Pallen as consul general in London. But Pulitzer did not secure a meeting with the President-elect, and neither man was appointed. During his term in office, Pulitzer led a crusade to place the newly-gifted
Statue of Liberty The Statue of Liberty (''Liberty Enlightening the World''; French: ''La Liberté éclairant le monde'') is a List of colossal sculpture in situ, colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the Un ...

Statue of Liberty
in New York City. He was a member of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Committee on Commerce. During his time in Washington, Pulitzer lived at the luxurious hostel run by John Chamberlin at the corner of 15th and I Streets. However, Pulitzer soon determined that his position at the ''World'' was both more powerful and more enjoyable than Congress. He began to spend less and less time in Washington, and ultimately resigned on April 10, 1886 after little over a year in office.

Rivalry with William Randolph Hearst

In 1895,
William Randolph Hearst William Randolph Hearst Sr. (; April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician known for developing the nation's largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications Hearst Commu ...

William Randolph Hearst
purchased the rival ''New York Journal'', which at one time had been owned by Pulitzer's brother, Albert Pulitzer, Albert. Hearst had once been a great admirer of Pulitzer's ''World''. The two embarked on a circulation war. This competition with Hearst, particularly the coverage before and during the Spanish–American War, linked Pulitzer's name with
yellow journalism Yellow journalism and yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate, well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales. Techniques may include ex ...
. Pulitzer and Hearst were also the cause of the newsboys' strike of 1899, a youth-led campaign to force change in the way that Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst's newspapers compensated their child newspaper hawkers.

Other rivals

Charles Anderson Dana, Charles A. Dana, the editor of the rival ''New York Sun (historical), New York Sun'' and personal enemy of Grover Cleveland, became estranged from Pulitzer during the 1884 campaign. Dana's ''Sun'' endorsed Greenback nominee Benjamin Butler, a major blow in swing state New York. He attacked Pulitzer in print, often calling him "Judas Pulitzer." After Cleveland's victory, the Sun's circulation had been halved and the ''World'' replaced it as the largest Democratic paper in the country. Leander Richardson, a former employee who left the ''World'' to run ''The Journalist (newspaper), The Journalist,'' was even more directly antisemitic, referring to his former boss only as "Jewseph Pulitzer." Whitelaw Reid frequently sparred with Pulitzer, both in person and in their respective papers.

Declining health and resignation

Pulitzer's health problems (blindness, depression (mood disorder), depression, and acute noise sensitivity) caused a rapid deterioration, and he had to withdraw from the daily management of the newspaper. He continued to manage the paper from his New York mansion, his winter retreat at the Jekyll Island Club on Jekyll Island, Georgia, and his summer vacation retreat in Bar Harbor, Maine. After he hired Frank I. Cobb (1869–1923) in 1904 as the editor of the New York ''World'', the younger man resisted Pulitzer's attempts to "run the office" from his home. Time after time, they battled each other, often with heated language. When Pulitzer's son took over administrative responsibility in 1907, Pulitzer wrote a carefully worded resignation. It was printed in every New York paper except the ''World''. Pulitzer was insulted but slowly began to respect Cobb's editorials and independent spirit. Their exchanges, commentaries, and messages 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 but it wavered on occasion. Pulitzer's demands for editorials on contemporary breaking news led to overwork by Cobb. Pulitzer sent him on a six-week tour of Europe to restore his spirit. Cobb continued the editorial policies he had shared with Pulitzer until Cobb died of cancer in 1923. In a company meeting, Professor Thomas Davidson said, "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 an epigram of journalism."Training for the Newspaper Trade"
Don Carlos Seitz Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company 1916. p. 66

Marriage and family

In 1878 at the age of 31, Pulitzer married Katherine "Kate" Davis (1853–1927), a woman of high social standing from Georgetown, District of Columbia. She was five years younger than Pulitzer, from an Episcopalian family, and rumored to be a distant relative of Jefferson Davis. They married in an Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopal ceremony at the Church of the Epiphany (Washington, D.C.), Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C. He did not reveal his Jewish heritage to Katherine or her family until after their marriage, to her shock. Of seven children, five lived to adulthood: Ralph Pulitzer, Ralph, Joseph Jr. (father of Joseph Pulitzer III), Constance Helen (1888–1938), who married William Gray Elmslie, D.D. Edith (1886–1975), who married William Scoville Moore, and Herbert, eventually his brother Ralph's partner at the ''Post''. Their daughter, Katherine Ethel Pulitzer, died of pneumonia in May 1884 at age 2. On December 31, 1897, their older daughter, Lucille Irma Pulitzer, died at the age of 17 from typhoid fever. An Irish immigrant named Mary Boyle largely raised the children while their parents were busy. Pulitzer's grandson, Herbert Pulitzer, Jr. was married to the American fashion designer and socialite Lilly Pulitzer. Following a fire at his former residence, Pulitzer commissioned Stanford White to design a limestone-clad Venetian palazzo at 11 East 73rd Street on the Upper East Side; it was completed in 1903. Pulitzer's thoughtful seated portrait by John Singer Sargent is at the Columbia School of Journalism that he founded. The family continued to be involved in the operation of the St. Louis paper for several generations until April 1995, when Joseph Pulitzer IV resigned from the paper in a management dispute. His daughter (Joseph J. Pulitzer's great-great-granddaughter) Elkhanah Pulitzer is an opera director.


For six months during 1908, Pulitzer was attended to by his personal physician C. Louis Leipoldt aboard his yacht ''SY Liberty, Liberty''. While traveling to his winter home at the Jekyll Island Club on Jekyll Island, Georgia, in 1911, Pulitzer had his yacht stop in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. On October 29, 1911, Pulitzer listened to his German secretary read aloud about King Louis XI of France. As the secretary neared the end, Pulitzer said in German: ''"Leise, ganz leise"'' (English: "Softly, quite softly"), and died. His body was returned to New York for services and interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.


Journalism schools

In 1892, Pulitzer offered
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...
's president, Seth Low, money to set up the world's first school of journalism. The university initially turned down the money. In 1902, Columbia's new president Nicholas Murray Butler was more receptive to the plan for a school and journalism prizes, but it would not be until after Pulitzer's death that this dream would be fulfilled. Pulitzer left the university $2,000,000 in his will. In 1912, the school founded the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. This followed the Missouri School of Journalism, founded at the University of Missouri with Pulitzer's urging. Both schools remain among the most prestigious in the world.

Pulitzer Prize

In 1917, Columbia organized the awards of the first
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
s in journalism. The awards have been expanded to recognize achievements in literature, poetry, history, music, and drama.

Legacy and honors

* The United States Post Office Department, U.S. Post Office issued a 3-cent stamp commemorating Joseph Pulitzer in 1947, the 100th anniversary of his birth. * The Pulitzer Arts Foundation in Saint Louis was founded by his family's philanthropy and is named in their honor. * In 1989 Joseph Pulitzer was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. * He is featured as a character in the Disney film ''Newsies'' (1992), in which he was played by Robert Duvall, and the Broadway stage production (''Newsies (musical), Newsies'') adapted from it which was produced in 2011. * In the 2014 historical novel, ''The New Colossus,'' by Marshall Goldberg, published by Diversion Books, Joseph Pulitzer gives reporter Nellie Bly the assignment of investigating the death of poet Emma Lazarus. * The Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam was named after his grandson Herbert Pulitzer. * Mount Pulitzer (Washington), Mount Pulitzer in Washington state is named for him.

See also

* Joseph Pulitzer House * Place des États-Unis * Pulitzer Arts Foundation * List of Jewish members of the United States Congress



; Sources * Denis Brian, Brian, Denis. ''Pulitzer: A Life'' (2001
online edition
* Alleyne Ireland, Ireland, Alleyne
''Joseph Pulitzer: Reminiscences of a Secretary''
(1914) * James McGrath Morris, Morris, James McGrath. ''Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power'' (2010), a scholarly biography. * James McGrath Morris, 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 *
* Rammelkamp, Julian S. '' Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch 1878–1883'' (1967) *

External links

* Original New York World articles a
Nellie Bly Online

* [ Lambiek Comiclopedia article.] * {{DEFAULTSORT:Pulitzer, Joseph 1847 births 1911 deaths People from Makó Hungarian Jews American people of Hungarian-Jewish descent New York (state) Republicans New York (state) Liberal Republicans New York (state) Democrats Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York (state) Jewish members of the United States House of Representatives Columbia University people 19th-century American newspaper publishers (people) 19th-century Hungarian people Jewish American military personnel American newspaper chain founders American male journalists Naturalized citizens of the United States Blind people from the United States Hungarian journalists Members of the Missouri House of Representatives Politicians from St. Louis People of the Spanish–American War Pulitzer family (newspapers), Joseph St. Louis Post-Dispatch people Union Army soldiers Burials at Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx, New York) Statue of Liberty 19th-century American politicians Hungarian emigrants to the United States