George Washington Ochs-Oakes

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George Washington Ochs-Oakes

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH, United States
Death: October 26, 1931 (69)
New York, New York, NY, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Julius Ochs and Bertha Ochs
Husband of Bertie Ochs-Oakes
Father of George Washington Ochs-Oakes, Jr. and John Bertram Oakes
Brother of Nannie Ochs; Adolph Simon Ochs; Milton B. Ochs; Mattie Talimef and Ada Adler

Managed by: Kevin Lawrence Hanit
Last Updated:

About George Washington Ochs-Oakes

George Washington Ochs Oakes was an American journalist. Born George Washington Ochs, he legally added the surname "Oakes" in 1915 out of outrage at the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat.

Ochs was born to German-Jewish immigrants, Julius and Bertha Levy Ochs, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brother of fellow journalist Adolph Ochs, George Oakes was educated at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated in 1879. Oakes began his career in journalism as a reporter for the Chattanooga Daily Times, of which he became general manager in 1896.

In 1900, when The New York Times decided to issue a daily edition at the Paris Exposition, Oakes was placed in charge of the enterprise; and his work met with such favor that he was decorated by the President of the French Republic with the cross of the Legion of Honor. In 1901, when The Philadelphia Times was acquired by his brother, Oakes became vice-president and general manager of the new company, and conducted the paper until its amalgamation with the Public Ledger, when he became general manager of the consolidated publications. Oakes remained publisher until the paper was sold in 1913 to Cyrus H. K. Curtis.

On the outbreak of World War I, Oakes attempted to enlist in the army, but was refused admittance due to his age. He persisted, and signed up as a private in the 9th Coast Artillery, New York National Guard, and served from 1917 until the Armistice in 1918. At this time he became the managing editor of a new New York Times-owned magazine, Current History. He also edited the Times' Mid-Week Pictorial and served on the Times Board of Directors.

Oakes was a prominent figure in Tennessee politics. He attended the 1892 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago as an elected delegate, seconding on behalf of his state the nomination of Grover Cleveland; and in 1896 he was appointed delegate-at-large from Tennessee to the Palmer-Buckner Gold Democratic Convention held at Indianapolis in that year. In 1894 Oakes was elected mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was reelected in 1896, and received a unanimous renomination in 1898, but declined it. He was elected vice-president and member of the executive board of the National Municipal League. For six years he held the presidency of the Chattanooga Library Association; for two years that of the Southern Associated Press; for three years that of the Chattanooga Board of Education; and for one year that of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

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George Washington Ochs-Oakes's Timeline

1861
October 27, 1861
Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH, United States
1908
October 1908
Age 46
1913
April 23, 1913
Age 51
1931
October 26, 1931
Age 69
New York, New York, NY, United States