Fun Facts Friday: Joseph Pulitzer

April 10, 2020

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.

Books about Joseph Pulitzer*
Books about Joseph Pulitzer*

  1. He was born as Pulitzer József, as is the Hungarian custom, in Makó, south of Budapest to a family of Jewish businessman.
  2. In 1864 Mr. Pulitzer immigrated to the United States and served in the Lincoln Calvary until the Civil War ended.
  3. Mr. Pulitzer was fluent in three languages, Hungarian, French, and German. He did, however, needed to learn English.
  4. 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.
  5. After studying law, Mr. Pulitzer was elected to the Missouri Legislature in 1869. His opponent was ineligible because he served in the Confederate Army.
  6. 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.
  7. In 1877 Mr. Pulitzer married Kate Davis. The couple had seven children together and remained wedded until his death in 1911.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Besides recognizing achievements in journalism, The Pulitzer Prize  has been expended to include literature, poetry, history, music, and drama.

Books about Joseph Pulitzer*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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