Joseph Pulitzer (10 April, 1847 – 29 October, 1911) was a newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World, as well as a Congressman. Many people today know his name because of his endowment to Columbia University which has established the Pulitzer Prizes.
- He was born as Pulitzer József, as is the Hungarian custom, in Makó, south of Budapest to a family of Jewish businessman.
- In 1864 Mr. Pulitzer immigrated to the United States and served in the Lincoln Calvary until the Civil War ended.
- Mr. Pulitzer was fluent in three languages, Hungarian, French, and German. He did, however, needed to learn English.
- He worked as a journalist in the Westliche Post in St. Louis (which he bought in 1871 and sold in 1872). During this time, he worked 16 hour days.
- After studying law, Mr. Pulitzer was elected to the Missouri Legislature in 1869. His opponent was ineligible because he served in the Confederate Army.
- In 1879 Mr. Pulitzer bought two newspapers in St. Louis and combined them. The new paper, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is still in existence today.
- In 1877 Mr. Pulitzer married Kate Davis. The couple had seven children together and remained wedded until his death in 1911.
- In the 1890s, after he already owned several papers including the New York World, Mr. Pulitzer got into a headline competition with the newspapers of William Randolph Hearst. Once he believed their headline battle went too far, Mr. Pulitzer backed off.
- In his will, Mr. Pulitzer left $2 million to establish the world’s first school of journalism at Columbia University, New York City as well as a prize which was first awarded in 1917.
- Besides recognizing achievements in journalism, The Pulitzer Prize has been expended to include literature, poetry, history, music, and drama.
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