William Randolph Hearst, 1863 - 1951

portrait of William Randolph Hearst
1906 portrait by J. E. Purdy
William Randolph Hearst signature
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Born: 29 April 1863, San Francisco, California
Died: 14 August 1951, Beverly Hills, California

Hearst's wealthy parents sent him to prep school at St Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, and he enrolled at Harvard, where he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon until he was expelled over a prank. His father had taken the San Francisco Examiner in payment of a gambling debt, and Hearst took it over in 1887, proclaiming it the "Monarch of the Dailies" and investing heavily in equipment and talent. In 1896, with his mother's money, he bought the New York Morning Journal, hiring the best staff from Pulitzer's New York World. He served two terms in Congress (Democrat from California) but lost his later runs for New York City mayor and New York governor and senator. Family money combined with his exuberant populism built his news empire to 28 papers by the mid 1920s, and let him branch out by founding or buying Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, King Features Syndicate, two news services, and the first of his radio stations. Because of his family wealth, few of his businesses had needed to turn a profit, when the Great Depression came he lost control, becoming an employee in the business he had put together.

Biography from Wikipedia and zpub.com

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