William Randolph Hearst

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William Randolph Hearst, Sr.

Birthplace: San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States
Death: August 14, 1951 (88)
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Place of Burial: Colma, San Mateo County, California
Immediate Family:

Son of George Hearst, U.S. Senator and Phoebe Elizabeth Hearst
Husband of Millicent Veronica Hearst and Private
Partner of Marion Davies
Father of George Randolph Hearst, Sr.; William Randolph Hearst, Jr.; John Randolph Hearst, Sr.; David Whitmire Hearst; Randolph Apperson Hearst and 1 other
Half brother of Margaret Ellen Anderson Hearst

Occupation: Publisher
Managed by: Sara Catherine Mastriforte
Last Updated:

About William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hearst

White Supremacist instigator of the Spanish-American War by massive racist propaganda and endless Trump-like lies through newspapers resulting in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 11th district In office March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1907 Preceded by William Sulzer Succeeded by Charles V. Fornes Born April 29, 1863(1863-04-29) San Francisco, California, US Died August 14, 1951(1951-08-14) (aged 88) Beverly Hills, California, US Political party Democrat (1896-1935) Independence Party (1905-1910) Municipal Ownership League (1904-1905) Spouse(s) Millicent Veronica Willson (1882–1974) Children George Randolph Hearst (1904–1972) William Randolph Hearst, Jr. (1908–1993) John Randolph Hearst (1910–1958) Randolph Apperson Hearst (1915–2000) David Whitmire Hearst (1915–1986) Alma mater Harvard University Occupation Publisher Signature

William Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper magnate and leading newspaper publisher.[1] Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World which led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.

He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, but ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and is sometimes credited with pushing public opinion in the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.

His life story was a source of inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles' classic film Citizen Kane.[2] His mansion, Hearst Castle, near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada ("The Enchanted Slope"), but he usually just called it "the ranch". Contents [hide]

   * 1 Early life
   * 2 Publishing business
   * 3 New York Morning Journal
   * 4 Expansion
   * 5 Involvement in politics
         o 5.1 His vision on the Holocaust
   * 6 Personal life
         o 6.1 Marion Davies
         o 6.2 California property
         o 6.3 Art collection
         o 6.4 St. Donat's Castle
         o 6.5 The Family Club
         o 6.6 Death and legacy
   * 7 Praise and criticism
         o 7.1 Yellow journalism
   * 8 In fiction
         o 8.1 Citizen Kane
         o 8.2 Other works
   * 9 See also
   * 10 References
   * 11 Further reading
   * 12 External links

Early life

Hearst was born in San Francisco to millionaire mining engineer George Hearst and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. George Hearst's paternal grandfather, John Hearst, emigrated to America with his wife and six children in 1766, probably from the north of Ireland, and settled in South Carolina. Their immigration to America was spurred in part by the state government's policy that encouraged the immigration of Protestants. The names "John Hearse" and "John Hearse Jr." appear on the council records on the 26th of October, 1766, being credited with meriting 400 acres (1.6 km2) and 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land on the Long Canes (in what became Abbeville District), based upon 100 acres (0.40 km2) to heads of household and 50 acres (200,000 m2) for each dependent of a Protestant immigrant. The "Hearse" spelling of the family name never was used afterward by the family members themselves, or any family of any size. A separate theory purports that one branch of a "Hurst" family of Virginia (originally from Plymouth Colony) moved to South Carolina at about the same time and changed the spelling of its surname of over a century to that of the emigrant Hearsts.[3] Hearst's mother was of Irish ancestry; her family came from Galway.[4]

Following preparation at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, Hearst enrolled in the Harvard College class of 1885, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Alpha chapter), the A.D. Club (a prestigious Harvard Final club), and of the Harvard Lampoon prior to his expulsion from Harvard for giving several of his professors expensive chamber pots with their names elaborately painted on the inside.[5] Publishing business An ad asking automakers to place ads in Hearst chain, noting their circulation.

Searching for an occupation, in 1887 he took over management of a newspaper which his father had purchased in 1880, the San Francisco Examiner. Giving his paper a grand motto, "Monarch of the Dailies", he acquired the best equipment and the most talented writers of the time, including Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain and Jack London. A self-proclaimed populist, Hearst went on to publish stories of municipal and financial corruption, often attacking companies in which his own family held an interest. Within a few years, his paper dominated the San Francisco market. New York Morning Journal

In 1895, with the financial support of his mother, he bought the failing New York Morning Journal, hiring writers like Stephen Crane and Julian Hawthorne and entering into a head-to-head circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer, owner and publisher of the New York World, from whom he 'stole' Richard F. Outcault, the inventor of color comics, and all of Pulitzer's Sunday staff as well.[6] His was the only major newspaper in the East to support William Jennings Bryan and Bimetallism in 1896. Subsequently, the price of the Journal (later New York Journal-American) was reduced to one cent; this, coupled with the newspaper's eye-catching headlines and sensational stories on subjects like crime and pseudoscience (a style pejoratively referred to as yellow journalism—see below) allowed the newspaper to attain unprecedented levels of circulation. Expansion

In part to aid in his political ambitions, Hearst opened newspapers in some other cities, among them Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. The creation of his Chicago paper was requested by the Democratic National Committee and Hearst used this as an excuse for Phoebe Hearst to transfer him the necessary start-up funds. By the mid-1920s he had a nation-wide string of 28 newspapers, among them the Los Angeles Examiner, the Boston American, the Atlanta Georgian, the Chicago Examiner, the Detroit Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Washington Times, the Washington Herald, and his flagship the San Francisco Examiner.

Hearst also diversified his publishing interests into book publishing and magazines; several of the latter still appear, including such periodicals as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Town and Country and Harper's Bazaar. Cartoonist Rogers in 1906 sees the political uses of Oz: he depicts William Randolph Hearst as the Scarecrow stuck in his own Ooze in Harper's Weekly.

In 1924 he opened the New York Daily Mirror, a racy tabloid frankly imitating the New York Daily News. Among his other holdings were two news services, Universal News and International News Service (along with INS companion radio station WINS in New York); King Features Syndicate; a film company, Cosmopolitan Productions; extensive New York City real estate; and thousands of acres of land in California and Mexico, along with timber and mining interests.

Hearst's father, US Senator George Hearst, had acquired land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after receiving advance notice that Geronimo - who had terrorized settlers in the region - had surrendered. Hearst was able to buy hundreds of thousands of acres at $0.20 each because only he knew that they had become much more secure.[7] The younger Hearst was in Mexico as early as 1886, when he wrote to his mother that "I really don't see what is to prevent us from owning all of Mexico and running it to suit ourselves."[8] Hearst eventually became friends with Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican dictator. During the revolution, Hearst's 1,625,000-acre (6,580 km2) ranch, Babicora, was looted by irregulars under Pancho Villa. Babicora was then occupied by Carranza's forces. Hearst employed a one-hundred man army to take back his ranch. Some say that these "vaqueros" were led by the Sundance Kid (Harry Longabaugh), who had been working at Babicora as a gunfighter (using Tex McGraf as an alias), and that the mercenary force also included future western cinema star, Tom Mix.[9] Others point to these events as partial motive for Hearst's involvement in the campaign to criminalize marijuana in the late 1930s. Supposedly, Hearst retained a dislike of Mexicans, who were widely believed by white US citizens to be the principal distributors and consumers of the drug.[10] In any case, Babicora was sold to the Mexican government for $2.5 million in 1953, just two years after Hearst's death.[7]

Hearst promoted writers and cartoonists despite the lack of any apparent demand for them by his readers. The press critic A. J. Liebling reminds us how many Hearst stars would not be deemed employable elsewhere. One Hearst favorite, George Herriman, was the inventor of the dizzy comic strip Krazy Kat; not especially popular with either readers or editors, it is now considered by many to be a classic, a belief once held only by Hearst himself.

Two months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, he became one of the sponsors of the first round-the-world voyage in an airship, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. His sponsorship was conditional on the trip starting at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ, so the ship's captain, Dr. Hugo Eckener, first flew the Graf across the Atlantic from Germany to pick up Hearst's photographer and at least three Hearst correspondents. One of them, Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay, by that flight became the first woman to travel around the world by air.[11]

The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak about 1928, but the economic collapse of the Great Depression and the vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. It is unlikely that the newspapers ever paid their own way; mining, ranching and forestry provided whatever dividends the Hearst Corporation paid out. When the collapse came, all Hearst properties were hit hard, but none more so than the papers; adding to the burden were the Chief's now-conservative politics, increasingly at odds with those of his readers. Having been refused the right to sell another round of bonds to unsuspecting investors, the shaky empire tottered. Unable to service its existing debts, Hearst Corporation faced a court-mandated reorganization in 1937. From this point, Hearst was just another employee, subject to the directives of an outside manager.[12] Newspapers and other properties were liquidated, the film company shut down; there was even a well-publicized sale of art and antiquities. While World War II restored circulation and advertising revenues, his great days were over. Hearst died of a heart attack in 1951, aged eighty-eight, in Beverly Hills, California, and is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

The Hearst Corporation continues to this day as a large, privately held media conglomerate based in New York City. Involvement in politics

A Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives (1903–1907), he narrowly failed in attempts to become mayor of New York City (1905 and 1909) and governor of New York (1906), nominally remaining a Democrat while also creating the Independence Party. He was defeated for the governorship by Charles Evans Hughes.

His defeat in the New York City mayoral election, in which he ran under a short-lived third party of his own creation (the Municipal Ownership League) is widely attributed to Tammany Hall. Tammany, the dominant Democratic organization in New York City at the time (and a widely corrupt one), was said to have used every dirty trick in the book to derail Hearst's campaign. He also sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1904, but found that his support for William Jennings Bryan in previous years was not reciprocated. The conservative wing of the party was ascendant and nominated Judge Alton B. Parker instead. An opponent of the British Empire, Hearst opposed American involvement in the First World War and attacked the formation of the League of Nations. Hearst's last bid for office came in 1922 when he was backed by Tammany Hall leaders for the U.S. Senate nomination in New York. Al Smith vetoed this, earning the lasting enmity of Hearst. Although Hearst shared Smith's opposition to Prohibition he swung his papers behind Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential election. Hearst's support for Franklin D. Roosevelt at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, via his allies William Gibbs McAdoo and John Nance Garner, can also be seen as part of his vendetta against Smith, who was an opponent of Roosevelt's at that convention.

Hearst's reputation triumphed in the 1930s as his political views changed. In 1932, he was a major supporter of Roosevelt. His newspapers energetically supported the New Deal throughout 1933 and 1934. Hearst broke with FDR in spring 1935 when the President vetoed the Patman Bonus Bill. Hearst papers carried the old publisher's rambling, vitriolic, all-capital-letters editorials, but he no longer employed the energetic reporters, editorialists and columnists who might have made a serious attack. His newspaper audience was the same working class that Roosevelt swept by three-to-one margins in the 1936 election. In 1934 after checking with Jewish leaders to make sure the visit would prove of benefit to Jews, Hearst visited Berlin to interview Adolf Hitler. Hitler asked why he was so misunderstood by the American press. "Because Americans believe in democracy," Hearst answered bluntly, "and are averse to dictatorship."[13] His vision on the Holocaust

Hearst described Kristallnacht as “making the flag of National Socialism a symbol of national savagery” and advocated the creation of a "homeland for dispossessed or persecuted Jews.”[14] When news of the Holocaust began to seep out of occupied Europe, Hearst covered it as important news, in contrast to other newspapers which downplayed the mass murders.[14] Personal life Millicent Hearst

In 1903, Hearst married Millicent Veronica Willson (1882–1974), a 21-year-old chorus girl, in New York City. Evidence in Louis Pizzitola's book Hearst Over Hollywood indicates that Millicent's mother Hannah Willson ran a Tammany-connected and -protected brothel quite near the headquarters of political power in New York City at the turn of the last century. Millicent bore him five sons: George Randolph Hearst, born on April 23, 1904; William Randolph Hearst, Jr., born on January 27, 1908; John Randolph Hearst, born in 1910; and twins Randolph Apperson Hearst and David Whitmire (née Elbert Willson) Hearst, born on December 2, 1915. Marion Davies Marion Davies

Conceding an end to his political hopes, Hearst became involved in an affair with popular film actress and comedienne Marion Davies (1897–1961), and from about 1919, he lived openly with her in California. The affair dominated Davies' life. Millicent separated from her husband in the mid-1920s after tiring of his longtime affair with Davies, but the couple remained legally married until Hearst's death. Millicent built an independent life for herself in New York City as a leading philanthropist, was active in society, and created the Free Milk Fund for the poor in 1921. After the death of Patricia Lake, Davies' supposed niece, it was speculated that Lake was in fact Hearst's daughter by Davies. California property

Beginning in 1919, Hearst began to build the never-completed Hearst Castle, on a 240,000 acre (97,000 ha) ranch at San Simeon, California, which he furnished with art, antiques and entire rooms brought from the great houses of Europe.

Hearst later paid $120,000 for an H-shaped Beverly Hills mansion in 1947. This home is now perhaps the "most expensive" private home in the U.S., valued at $165 million (£81.4 million). It has 29 bedrooms, three swimming pools, tennis courts, its own cinema and a nightclub. Lawyer and investor Leonard Ross has owned it since 1976. The estate is for sale for $95 million as of 11/24/2010.[15] The Beverly House, as it has come to be known, has some interesting cinematic connections. According to Hearst Over Hollywood, Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy stayed at the house for part of their honeymoon, watching their first film together as a married couple in the mansion's theater (a Hearst-produced film from the 1920s). Later, long after Hearst's death, the house was the setting for a gruesome scene in the film The Godfather, depicting a horse's severed head in the bed of a film-producer, Jack Woltz, head of a film company called International, the name of Hearst's early film company.[16] San Simeon was also used in the 1960 film Spartacus as the estate of Marcus Licinius Crassus (played by Laurence Olivier).

Hearst's mother also owned the Hacienda del Pozo de Verona at Pleasanton, California, now demolished. He also had a property on the McCloud River in Siskiyou County, in far northern California, called Wyntoon.[17] Wyntoon was designed by famed architect Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle. Art collection Wiki letter w.svg This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. St. Donat's Castle

After seeing photographs of St. Donat's Castle in Country Life magazine, the Welsh Vale of Glamorgan property was bought and revitalized by Hearst in 1925 as a love gift to Davies.[18] The Castle was restored by Hearst who spent a fortune buying entire rooms from castles and palaces in Europe. The Great Hall was bought from the Bradenstoke Priory in Wiltshire and reconstructed brick by brick in its current site at St. Donat's Castle. From the Bradenstoke Priory he also bought and removed the guest house, Prior's lodging, and great tithe barn; of these, some of the materials became the St. Donat's banqueting hall, complete with a sixteenth century French chimneypiece and windows; also used were a fireplace dated to c. 1514 and a fourteenth century roof, which became part of the Bradenstoke Hall, despite this use being questioned in Parliament. Hearst built 34 green and white marble bathrooms for the many guest suites in the castle, and completed a series of terraced gardens which survive intact today. Hearst and Davies spent much of their time entertaining, holding lavish parties, the guests at which included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Winston Churchill and a young John F. Kennedy. Upon visiting St. Donat's, George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying: "This is what God would have built if he had had the money." When Hearst died, the castle was bought and is still owned and used by Atlantic College, an international boarding school. The Family Club

Through the rise of Hearst's yellow journalism, he was blamed by many for the Spanish-American War. His dubious stories were what many believed to be the spark of the fighting. Once a decorated member of the Bohemian Club, Hearst branched off to form his own private club, The Family. The Family keeps a clubhouse in San Francisco and a rural retreat in Woodside, California. Death and legacy

In 1947, Hearst left his San Simeon estate to seek medical care, which was unavailable in the remote location. He died in Beverly Hills on August 14, 1951, at the age of 88. He was interred in the Hearst family mausoleum at the Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California. All of his sons followed their father into the media business and his namesake, William Randolph, Jr., became a Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst newspaper reporter. Praise and criticism Yellow journalism

As Martin Lee and Norman Solomon noted in their 1990 book Unreliable Sources, Hearst "routinely invented sensational stories, faked interviews, ran phony pictures and distorted real events." This approach came to be known as yellow journalism, named after the Yellow Kid, a character in the New York World's color comic strip Hogan's Alley.

Hearst's use of yellow journalism techniques in his New York Journal to whip up popular support for U.S. military adventurism in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898 was also criticized in Upton Sinclair's 1919 book, The Brass Check: A Study of American Journalism. According to Sinclair, Hearst's newspaper employees were "willing by deliberate and shameful lies, made out of whole cloth, to stir nations to enmity and drive them to murderous war." Sinclair also asserted that in the early 20th century Hearst's newspapers lied "remorselessly about radicals," excluded "the word Socialist from their columns" and obeyed "a standing order in all Hearst offices that American Socialism shall never be mentioned favorably." In addition, Sinclair charged that Hearst's "Universal News Bureau" re-wrote the news of the London morning papers in the Hearst office in New York and then fraudulently sent it out to American afternoon newspapers under the by-lines of imaginary names of non-existent "Hearst correspondents" in London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Berlin, etc. Another muckraker, Ferdinand Lundberg, extended the criticism in Imperial Hearst (1936), charging that Hearst papers accepted payments from abroad to slant the news. After the war, another muckraker, George Seldes, repeated the charges in Facts and Fascism (1947). In fiction Citizen Kane

One of the most influential films of all time was Orson Welles' 1941 film Citizen Kane, which was loosely based on parts of Hearst's life (Welles and co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz added bits and pieces from the lives of other rich men of the time, among them Harold McCormick, Samuel Insull and Howard Hughes, into Kane). Hearst used all his resources and influence in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the film's release. Welles and the studio, RKO, resisted the pressure, but Hearst and his Hollywood friends succeeded in getting theater chains to limit bookings of Kane, resulting in mediocre box-office numbers and harming Welles' career.

Nearly sixty years later, HBO offered a fictionalized version of Hearst's efforts in its picture RKO 281. Hearst is portrayed in the film by James Cromwell.

Citizen Kane was twice ranked #1 on the list of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest films of all time (1998 & 2007)—Hearst's own image has largely been shaped by the film. The film paints a dark portrait of Hearst. Other works

   * Hearst is a major character in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire historic novel series.
   * The Cat's Meow is a 2001 drama film inspired by the mysterious death of film mogul Thomas H. Ince. The film takes place aboard publisher William Randolph Hearst's yacht on a weekend cruise celebrating Ince's 42nd birthday in November 1924.
   * Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead has a character based on Hearst.

See also

   * History of American newspapers
   * Hearst Corporation
   * Hearst Castle
   * Hearst Ranch
   * Warwick New York Hotel
   * Citizen Kane
   * St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church
   * Josephine Terranova
   * St Donat's Castle


  1. ^ Obituary Variety, August 15, 1951.
  2. ^ The Battle Over Citizen Kane
     , PBS
  3. ^ Carlson (2007), p. 3-4
  4. ^ Robinson (1991), p. 33
  5. ^ The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Thirteenth edition, Advanced Placement Edition, copyright 2006
  6. ^ "The Press: The King Is Dead"
     . Time. August 20, 1951. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,859284-3,00.html
  7. ^ a b "MEXICO: End of An Empire"
     . Time. September 7, 1953. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,818820,00.html
  8. ^ Gonzales, Michael J. 2002. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. 1st ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, page 8.
  9. ^ http://www.prospector-utah.com/sundance.htm
 10. ^ "Why is Marijuana Illegal?"
     . drugwarrant.com. http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/
     . Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
 11. ^ Time magazine: Los Angeles to Lakehurst
     , 1929-09-09
 12. ^ "The Press: American's End"
     . Time. July 5, 1937. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,770685,00.html
 13. ^ Conradi, Peter (2004-06-22). Hitler's Piano Player
     . Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 174. ISBN 9780786712830. http://books.google.com/?id=wNzuDuc4R9wC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=hearst+
 14. ^ a b Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2009, Rafael Medoff, Hearst and the Holocaust
 15. ^ [1]
 16. ^ BBC News, "Most expensive" U.S. home on sale
 17. ^ Wyntoon is located at approximately 41°11′21″N 122°03′58″W / 41.18917°N 122.06611°W / 41.18917; -122.06611
 18. ^ Bevan, Nathan (2008-08-03). "Lydia Hearst is queen of the castle"
     . Wales On Sunday. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/08/03/lydia-hears...
     . Retrieved 2008-08-03. 

Further reading

   * Carlson, Oliver (2007). Hearst - Lord of San Simeon. READ BOOKS. ISBN 1406766844. 
   * Davies, Marion (1975). The Times We Had: Life with William Randolph Hearst. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. ISBN 0-672-52112-1. 
   * Duffus, Robert L. (September 1922). "The Tragedy Of Hearst"
     . The World's Work: A History of Our Time XLIV: 623–631. http://books.google.com/?id=ZW0AAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA623
     . Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
   * Frazier, Nancy (2001). William Randolph Hearst: Modern Media Tycoon. Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch Press. ISBN 1-567-11512-8. 
   * Hearst, William Randolph, Jr. (1991). The Hearsts: Father and Son. Niwot, CO: Roberts Rinehart. ISBN 1-879-37304-1. 
   * Liebling, A.J. (1964). The Press. New York: Pantheon. 
   * Lundberg, Ferdinand (1936). Imperial Hearst: A Social Biography. New York: Equinox Corporative Press. 
   * Nasaw, David (2000). The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-82759-0. 
   * Pizzitola, Louis (2002). Hearst Over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11646-2. 
   * Procter, Ben H. (1998). William Randolph Hearst: The Early Years, 1863–1910. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-11277-6. 
   * Procter, Ben H. (2007). William Randolph Hearst: The Later Years, 1911–1951. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-32534-8. 
   * Reardon, David (2003). "William Hearst"
     . American History: Post-Civil War to the Present. Worldview Software. http://www.worldviewsoftware.com/
     . Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
   * Robinson, Judith (1991). The Hearsts: An American dynasty. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 0874133831. 
   * St. Johns, Adela Rogers (1969). The Honeycomb. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. 
   * Seldes, George (1947). Facts and Fascism. New York: In Fact.
   * Swanberg, W.A. (1961). Citizen Hearst. New York: Scribner. 
   * Whyte, Kenneth (2009). The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst. Berkeley: Counterpoint. 
   * Wilkerson, Marcus M. (1932). Public Opinion and the Spanish-American War: A Study in War Propaganda. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 
   * Winkler, John K. (1955). William Randolph Hearst: A New Appraisal. New York: Hastings House. \

External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: William Randolph Hearst Wikisource has the text of the 1922 Encyclopædia Britannica article Hearst, William Randolph.

   * Hearst the Collector at LACMA
   * William Randolph Hearst
     at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
   * William Randolph Hearst biography
     , via zpub.com
   * Guide to the William Randolph Hearst Papers
     at The Bancroft Library
   * San Simeon
     , the Hearst Castle
   * William Randolph Hearst
     at the Internet Movie Database
   * Original Bureau of Investigation Document Online: William Randolph Hearst
   * William Randolph Hearst
     at Find a Grave
   * Genealogy of William Randolph Hearst
     – Genealogy Wiki

United States House of Representatives Preceded by William Sulzer Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 11th congressional district 1903–1907 Succeeded by Charles V. Fornes Party political offices Preceded by D. Cady Herrick Democratic Candidate for Governor of New York 1906 (lost) Succeeded by Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler Persondata Name Hearst, William Randolph Alternative names Short description Newspaper publisher Date of birth April 29, 1863 Place of birth San Francisco, California, United States Date of death August 14, 1951 Place of death Beverly Hills, California, United States Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hearst" Categories: St. Paul's School (New Hampshire) alumni | Harvard University alumni | Harvard Lampoon people | American mass media owners | 19th-century American newspaper publishers (people) | American newspaper publishers (people) | Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York | United States presidential candidates, 1904 | People of the Spanish–American War | American socialites | Conservatism in the United States | California Democrats | Hearst family | New York Democrats | The San Francisco Examiner people | People from San Francisco, California | 1863 births | 1951 deaths | Deaths from myocardial infarction | United States Independence Party politicians Hidden categories: Articles to be expanded from January 2011 | All articles to be expanded Personal tools

For almost half a century William Randolph Hearst was the American publisher, editor, and proprietor (business owner) of the most extensive journalistic empire ever assembled by one man. His personality and use of wealth permanently left a mark on American media.

He received the best education that his multimillionaire father and his sophisticated schoolteacher mother (more than twenty years her husband's junior) could buy—private tutors, private schools, grand tours of Europe, and Harvard College.

Hearst's father had been a keen geologist (student of the earth's history as recorded in rocks) and lucky gold miner during the 1849 Gold Rush. As partner in some of the largest mines in America, George Hearst easily entered politics as a California Senator. To help him politically, he purchased the then failing San Francisco Examiner. Meanwhile, his son, William Randolph, was routinely being expelled from school due to pranks. He was even expelled from Harvard after sending engraved silver chamber pots (prior to indoor plumbing, people kept pots under their beds to use for relieving themselves at night) to his professors. But Hearst inherited his father's ambition and energy. William's mother, the cultured parent, took William on two art tours in Europe before he was sixteen years old.

Young Hearst's journalistic career began in 1887, two years after his Harvard expulsion. "I want the San Francisco Examiner, " he wrote to his father, who owned the newspaper and granted the request.

When William's father died, he left his millions in mining properties, not to his son, but to his wife—who compensated by giving her son ten thousand dollars a month until her death. In turn the gray-eyed, soft-spoken William Randolph Hearst invested frantically and heavily.

The Daily Examiner became young Hearst's laboratory, where he gained a talent for making fake news and faking real news in such a way as to create maximum public shock. From the outset he obtained top talent by paying top prices.

To get an all-star cast and an audience of millions, however, Hearst had to move his headquarters to New York City, where he immediately purchased the old and dying New York Morning Journal. Within a year Hearst ran up the circulation from seventy-seven thousand to over a million by spending enough money to beat the aging Joseph Pulitzer's World at its own sensationalist (scandalous) game. Sometimes Hearst hired away the World 's more aggressive executives and reporters; sometimes he outbid all competitors in the open market. One of Hearst's editors was paid twice as much in salary as the sale price of the New York World.

Hearst attracted readers by adding heated reporting of sports, crime, sex, scandal, and human-interest stories. "A Hearst newspaper is like a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut," said Hearst writer Arthur James Pegler. Hearst's slam-bang showmanship attracted new readers and nonreaders.

During the last five years of the nineteenth century, Hearst set his pattern for the first half of the twentieth century. The Journal supported the Democratic Party, yet Hearst opposed the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) in 1896. In 1898 Hearst backed the Spanish-American War (1898; a war in which the United States aided Cuba in its fight for freedom from Spanish rule), which Bryan and the Democrats opposed. Further, Hearst's wealth cut him off from the troubled masses to whom his newspapers appealed. He could not grasp the basic problems the issue of the war with Spain raised.

Having shaken up San Francisco with the Examiner and New York City with the Journal, Hearst established two newspapers in Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago American in 1900 and the Chicago Examiner in 1902; a newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston American; and a newspaper in Los Angeles, California, the Los Angeles Examiner in 1904. These added newspapers marked more than an extension of Hearst's journalistic empire, they reflected his sweeping decision to seek the U.S. presidency. Perhaps his ambition came from a desire to follow in his father's footsteps. His personality and fortune were not suited to a political career however.

In 1902 and 1904 Hearst won election to the House of Representatives as a New York Democrat. Except, his journalistic activities and his $2 million presidential campaign left him little time to speak, vote, or answer roll calls in Congress. His nonattendance angered his colleagues and the voters who had elected him. Nevertheless, he found time to run as an independent candidate for mayor of New York City in 1905, and as a Democratic candidate for governor in 1906. His loss in both elections ended Hearst's political career.

In 1903, the day before his fortieth birthday, he married twenty-one-year-old Millicent Willson, a showgirl, thus giving up Tessie Powers, a waitress he had supported since his Harvard days. The Hearsts had five boys, but in 1917 Hearst fell in love with another showgirl, twenty-year-old Marion Davies of the Ziegfeld Follies. He maintained a relationship with her that ended only at his death.

When Hearst's mother died, he came into his inheritance and took up permanent residence on his father's 168,000-acre ranch in southern California. There he spent $37 million on a private castle, put $50 million into New York City real estate, and put another $50 million into his art collection—the largest ever assembled by a single individual.

During the 1920s one American in every four read a Hearst newspaper. Hearst owned twenty daily and eleven Sunday papers in thirteen cities, the King Features syndication service (organization that places featured articles or comics in multiple papers at once), the International News Service, the American Weekly (a syndicated Sunday supplement), International Newsreel, and six magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Harper's Bazaar.

Despite Hearst's wealth, expansion, and spending, his popularity with the public as well as with the government was low. Originally a progressive Democrat, he had no bargaining power with Republican Theodore Roosevelt (1859–1919). Hearst fought every Democratic reform leader from Bryan to Franklin Roosevelt (1882–1945), and he opposed American participation in both world wars.

In 1927 the Hearst newspapers printed forged (faked) documents, which supported an accusation that the Mexican government had paid several U.S. senators more than $1 million to support a Central American plot to wage war against the United States. From this scandal the Hearst press suffered not at all.

In the next ten years, however, Hearst's funds and the empire suddenly ran out. In 1937 the two corporations that controlled the empire found themselves $126 million in debt. Hearst had to turn them over to a seven-member committee whose purpose was to save what they could. They managed to hold off economic failure only by selling off much of Hearst's private fortune and all of his public powers as a newspaper owner.

William Randolph Hearst died on August 14, 1951, in Beverly Hills, California.


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William Randolph Hearst's Timeline

April 29, 1863
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States
April 23, 1904
Washington, District of Columbia, DC, United States
January 27, 1907
New York City, New York County (Manhattan), New York, United States
September 26, 1910
December 2, 1915
December 2, 1915
June 18, 1923
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
August 14, 1951
Age 88
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, United States