George Hearst, U.S. Senator

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George Hearst, U.S. Senator's Geni Profile

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George Hearst

Birthplace: Sullivan, Franklin County, Missouri, United States
Death: Died in Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Place of Burial: Colma, San Mateo County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William G. Hearst and Elizabeth Hearst
Husband of Phoebe Elizabeth Hearst
Father of William Randolph Hearst
Brother of Martha Hearst; Another Hearst; Joseph Hearst; Philip Hearst and Jacob Hearst

Occupation: Businessman and politician, Millionaire mining engineer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Hearst, U.S. Senator

Near the end of the 19th century, George Hearst was one of the richest men in the United States, a U.S. Senator from California who had made his fortune in mining. He was the father of newspaperman William Randolph Hearst.

He grew up in Franklin County, Missouri and graduated from the mining school there in 1838. Hearst tried farming, prospecting and shop keeping, and in 1850 went to California to follow the gold rush. Though he didn't make it rich in California, a good business deal after the Comstock Lode in Nevada made him wealthy. He went on to be a major investor in the largest mining operations in the U.S., including the Homestake in South Dakota and the Anaconda in Montana. A resident of San Francisco since 1862, he was a member of the State Assembly from 1865-66 and made an unsuccessful bid for governor of California in 1882. First appointed to the United States Senate in 1886 (he filled a vacancy from March to August), he was elected in his own right in 1887 and served until his death in 1891.

In 1880 George Hearst acquired the newspaper The Daily Examiner (later the San Francisco Examiner) in an arrangement somehow connected to a gambling debt (contrary to lore, he did not win it in a poker game). In 1887 his son, William Randolph Hearst, took over operations of the paper. William went on to become a towering figure in the publishing industry and is said to have been the basis for the film Citizen Kane (1941, by Orson Welles).

Phoebe Apperson Hearst, George's wife, became a philanthropist who contributed greatly to the University of California system, especially the campus at Berkeley. She was also an advocate of early education and saw to the creation of public libraries in Lead, South Dakota and Anaconda, Montana.

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George Hearst, U.S. Senator's Timeline

September 3, 1820
Sullivan, Franklin County, Missouri, United States
April 29, 1863
Age 42
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States
February 28, 1891
Age 70
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Colma, San Mateo County, California, United States