Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911

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Joseph Pulitzer (born József Pulitzer; April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911) was a Hungarian-born American newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World. He became a leading national figure in the Democratic Party and was elected congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption, and helped keep the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Born in Makó, Hungary, he grew up there and in Pest, where he was educated by private tutors and taught French and German. Following his father's death, he enlisted in the Union Army as a substitute for a draftee, spending a year in the Lincoln Cavalry. Later, he worked his way to St. Louis. While doing odd jobs there, such as muleteer, baggage handler, and waiter, he immersed himself in the city's Mercantile Library, studying English and the law. He worked as a reporter for the Westliche Post and briefly served as a Missouri state representative. Initially aligned with the Republicans, he broke with them to support the Liberal Republican party, joining the Democratic Party in 1874.

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 and Dispatch (soon renamed the Post-Dispatch). In 1880, Pulitzer made a second run for public office, this time for United States Representative from Missouri's second district; he was resoundingly defeated for the Democratic nomination. 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. After purchasing the World, 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. In 1884, Pulitzer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 9th congressional district as a Democrat and entered office on March 4, 1885. During his term in office, Pulitzer led a crusade to place the newly-gifted Statue of Liberty in New York City and was a member of the Committee on Commerce. Over the course of his time in Washington, Pulitzer determined that his position at the World was both more powerful and more enjoyable than Congress; he ultimately resigned on April 10, 1886.

In the 1890s, the fierce competition between Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal caused both to develop the techniques of yellow journalism, 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. Pulitzer's health problems (blindness, 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. In 1907, Pulitzer resigned from the paper. He died in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina en route to his home on Jekyll Island in October 1911.

Today, Pulkitzer's name is best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established in 1917 as a result of his endowment to Columbia University. The prizes are given annually to recognize and reward excellence in American journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music, and drama. Pulitzer also founded the Columbia School of Journalism by his philanthropic bequest; it opened in 1912.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Lasch, Robert, 1907-1998. Papers, 1940-1991. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Bowles, Samuel, 1826-1878. Samuel Bowles papers, 1852-1893 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Harvard Art Museum. Exhibition Records, 1905-2008 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
Committee Papers of the Committee on Immigration from the 51st Congress United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Pulitzer Papers, 1883-1936, 1885-1912 (bulk) Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Mahan, A. T. (Alfred Thayer), 1840-1914. Papers of A. T. Mahan, 1779-1970 (bulk 1890-1914). Library of Congress
Pulitzer, Joseph Harry S. Truman Library
creatorOf American Committee of the Statue of Liberty. American Committee of the Statue of Liberty correspondence, 1881-1901. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Joseph Pulitzer Papers, 1880-1924 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Joseph Pulitzer Papers, 1897-1958, (bulk 1925-1955) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Vol. CCCCXXXVI (ff. 257). 10 Aug.-Dec. 1895.includes:f. 1 Samuel Herbert Habershon, physician: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1892-1898.f. 3 Khalil Khalid, of Angora: Letter to W. E. Gladstone: 1895.f. 5 William Richard Wood Stephens, Dean of Winc... British Library
referencedIn Speer, William McMurtrie, 1865-1923. William McMurtrie papers, 1880-1936. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn School of Journalism Founding Documents, 1892-1912, [Bulk Dates: 1903-1904] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Creelman, James, 1859-1915. Papers, 1890-1915. Ohio State University Libraries
Pulitzer, Joseph United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn New York lawyer's journal, 1895-1906, 1902-1906 William L. Clements Library
referencedIn De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. Bernard De Voto papers, 1918-1955 (bulk 1944-1951). Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911. Papers, 1883-1936, 1885-1912 (bulk). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Lyman, R. H. Records, 1882-1940. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Reynard, Michael,. Letters and documents, 1769-1974. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn DeCamp, Edward Hope, 1865-1952. Edward Hope DeCamp papers, 1928 June 4-1952 Jan. 27. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
creatorOf Raster, Hermann, 1827-1891. Hermann Raster papers, 1849-1940, bulk 1860-1891. Newberry Library
referencedIn A T. Mahan Papers, 1779-1970, (bulk 1890-1914) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Creelman, James, b. 1859. Papers, 1890-1915. State Library of Ohio
creatorOf Vol. xxv. (ff. 252). [1899?]-1922, n.d.includes:f. 1 Guenther Gottlieb Carl Eugen von Jagow, German Foreign Minister: Letter to H. W. Steed of Guenther Gottlieb Carl Eugen von Jagow: 1899?: Fr. and Germ. f. 3 Professor Friedrich Paulsen, German philo..., 1899-1922 British Library
referencedIn Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921. Henry Watterson : papers, 1856-1965 (bulk 1910-1919). The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Western Sorosis (Women's club). Western Sorosis records, 1894-2007. Kansas State Historical Society
contributorOf Committee Papers of the Committee on Immigration from the 51st Congress United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Seitz, Don Carlos, 1862-1935. Don Carlos Seitz papers, 1882-1934. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911. Papers, 1884-1911. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Pulitzer, Joseph Harry S. Truman Library
referencedIn Brisbane, Arthur, 1864-1936. Correspondence, 1894-1897. Lake County Historical Society
referencedIn Pulitzer, Joseph. Reminiscences of Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. : oral history, 1954. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Hill, Draper. Keppler family papers, 1840-1956. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
referencedIn American Committee of the Statue of Liberty correspondence, 1881-1901 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911. Joseph Pulitzer letter to [S.E.] Moffett [manuscript], no year January 23. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Smith, William Henry, 1833-1896. Papers. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
creatorOf Julia Ward Howe letter to Joseph Pulitzer, 1906 September 12 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Pulitzer, Joseph, 1885-1955. Joseph Pulitzer papers, 1897-1958 (bulk 1925-1955). Library of Congress
creatorOf Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. Julia Ward Howe letter to Joseph Pulitzer, 1906 September 12. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Bernard Augustine De Voto Papers, 1918-1955 (inclusive), 1944-1951 (bulk) Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911. Joseph Pulitzer papers, 1880-1924. Library of Congress
referencedIn Jennings, John Joseph, 1853-1909. John Joseph Jennings collection, 1881-1909. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965. Papers, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
creatorOf New York Academy of Medicine. Subscription Book for Building Fund, 1888-1889. New York Academy of Medicine
referencedIn Pulitzer, Joseph United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Shepard, Edward Morse, 1850-1911. Papers, 1837-1914. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947. Letters to F.W. Wile and Will Owen Jones, 1911, 1927. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Don Carlos Seitz papers, 1882-1934 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Lehmann, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1853-1931. Historical and literary mss., 1756-1929. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902. Correspondence, 1864-1906 Houghton Library
referencedIn Swanberg, W. A., 1907-. W. A. Swanberg Papers, ca.1927-1992. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Jones, Louise Seymour. Horatio Winslow Seymour papers, 1867-1948, bulk 1903-1918. Newberry Library
referencedIn Thomas Davidson papers, 1857-1948, 1857-1902 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Davis, Richard Harding, 1864-1916. Papers of Richard Harding Davis [manuscript] 1863-1916. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Jennings, John Joseph, 1853-1909. John Joseph Jennings collection, 1881-1909. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
contributorOf Committee Papers, 1889 - 1946 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Keppler Family Papers, 1840-1957 New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Davidson, Thomas, 1840-1900. Thomas Davidson papers, 1857-1948 (inclusive), 1857-1902 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn L 125.L7B3 "Joseph Pulitzer" America Calling (1942) United States. National Archives and Records Administration
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldrich, Nelson W. (Nelson Wilmarth), 1841-1915. person
associatedWith American Committee of the Statue of Liberty. corporateBody
associatedWith American Newspaper Guild. corporateBody
correspondedWith Anderson, Paul Y., 1893-1938 person
associatedWith Anonymous person
associatedWith Bartholdi, Frédéric Auguste, 1834-1904 person
correspondedWith Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965 person
correspondedWith Bovard, Oliver Kirby, 1872-1945 person
associatedWith Bowles, Samuel, 1826-1878. person
correspondedWith Brandt, Raymond P. (Raymond Peter), 1896-1974 person
correspondedWith Brisbane, Arthur, 1864-1936. person
associatedWith Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925. person
associatedWith Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947. person
correspondedWith Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 1888-1957 person
correspondedWith Chandler, Norman, 1899- person
correspondedWith Childs, Marquis W. (Marquis William), 1903-1990 person
correspondedWith Cobb, Frank Irving, 1869-1923 person
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Graduate School of Journalism. corporateBody
correspondedWith Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978 person
associatedWith Cortelyou, George B. (George Bruce), 1862-1940. person
associatedWith Creelman, James, b. 1859. person
correspondedWith Crowley, Raymond L. person
associatedWith Davidson, Thomas, 1840-1900. person
correspondedWith Davis, Dwight Filley, 1879-1945 person
correspondedWith Davison, Frederick Trubee, 1896- person
associatedWith Davis, Richard Harding, 1864-1916. person
associatedWith DeCamp, Edward Hope, 1865-1952. person
memberOf Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. person
correspondedWith Dilliard, Irving, 1904-2002 person
correspondedWith Eaton, Cyrus Stephen, 1883-1979 person
associatedWith Eichhorst, Thomas E. person
associatedWith Eichhorst, Thomas E. person
correspondedWith Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974 person
associatedWith Harvard Art Museum Archives corporateBody
associatedWith Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. person
associatedWith Jennings, John Joseph, 1853-1909. person
correspondedWith Jones, Jesse H. (Jesse Holman), 1874-1956 person
associatedWith Jones, Louise Seymour. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Arthur Clark, 1857-1926 person
associatedWith Lasch, Robert, 1907-1998. person
correspondedWith Lawrence, David, 1888-1973 person
correspondedWith Lehmann, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1853-1931. person
correspondedWith Lippmann, Walter, 1889-1974 person
associatedWith Mahan, A. T. (Alfred Thayer), 1840-1914. person
correspondedWith Meyer, Agnes Elizabeth Ernst, 1887-1970 person
correspondedWith Meyer, Eugene, 1875-1959 person
correspondedWith Mills, Ogden Livingston, 1884- person
associatedWith Moffett, Samuel Erasmus, 1860-1908, corporateBody
correspondedWith Nagel, Charles, 1849-1940 person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Academy of Medicine. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Norris, John, 1856-1914 person
correspondedWith Norris, John, 1856-1914 person
correspondedWith Ochs, Adolph S. (Adolph Simon), 1858-1935 person
correspondedWith Patterson, Joseph Medill, 1879-1946 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
correspondedWith Pulitzer family family
associatedWith Pulitzer, Joseph. person
associatedWith Pulitzer, Joseph, 1885-1955. person
associatedWith Raster, Hermann, 1827-1891. person
correspondedWith Reese, Benjamin Harrison, 1888- person
memberOf Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith Reynard, Michael, person
correspondedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
correspondedWith Ross, Charles G. (Charles Griffith), 1885-1950 person
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965 person
associatedWith Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902 person
correspondedWith Seitz, Don Carlos, 1862-1935 person
associatedWith Shepard, Edward Morse, 1850-1911. person
associatedWith Smith, William Henry, 1833-1896. person
associatedWith Speer, William McMurtrie, 1865-1923. person
correspondedWith Stout, Wesley Winans, 1890- person
correspondedWith Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968 person
associatedWith Swanberg, W. A., 1907- person
correspondedWith Swope, Herbert Bayard, 1882-1958 person
correspondedWith Symington, Stuart, 1901-1988 person
associatedWith Taft, Charles Phelps, 1843-1929. person
associatedWith Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930. person
correspondedWith Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968 person
associatedWith Thorek, Max, 1880-1960. person
associatedWith United States. Supreme Court. corporateBody
correspondedWith Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951 person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921. person
correspondedWith Welles, Sumner, 1892-1961 person
associatedWith Western Sorosis (Women's club) corporateBody
correspondedWith Wheeler, John N. (John Neville), 1886- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Charleston SC US
New Bedford MA US
Bar Harbor ME US
New York City NY US
Makó HU
Budapest 05 HU
Jekyll Island GA US
St. Louis MO US
Subject
International relations
Judges--Selection and appointment--United States
Autographs--Collectors and collecting
Material Types
Journalism
American newspapers--Missouri
Families--Missouri--Saint Louis
World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps
Families
Authors and publishers
World War, 1939-1945
Canals, Interoceanic
Deceptive advertising
Newspaper publishing--Missouri--Saint Louis
Correspondence
Newspaper publishing
Poets, English
Hunting
Pulitzer Prizes
Fishing
Occupation
Newspaper publishers
Newspaper editors
Soldiers
Publisher
Politicians
Reporters
Journalists
Representatives, U.S. Congress--New York (State)
Activity

Person

Birth 1847-04-10

Death 1911-10-29

Male

Americans,

Hungarians

English,

German,

Hungarian,

French

Information

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Ark ID: w6v51j60

SNAC ID: 83549403