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William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper magnate. Hearst was a leading newspaper publisher. The son of self-made millionaire George Hearst, he became aware that his father had received a northern California newspaper, The San Francisco Examiner, as payment of a gambling debt. Still a student at Harvard, he asked his father to give him the newspaper to run. In 1887, he became the paper's publisher and devoted long hours and much money to making it a success. Crusading for civic improvement and exposing municipal corruption, he greatly increased the paper's circulation.

Moving on to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World that led to the creation of "yellow journalism"--sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst ultimately created a chain that at its peak numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities. Eventually, he expanded into magazines as well, building the largest newspaper and magazine chain in the world.

Although he was elected two times to the U.S. House of Representatives, he was defeated in 1906 in a race for governor of New York. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, most notably in whipping up the public frenzy that pushed the U.S. into war with Spain in 1898. His life story was a source of inspiration for the lead character in Orson Welles' classic film, Citizen Kane.

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William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper magnate. Hearst was a leading newspaper publisher. The son of self-made millionaire George Hearst, he became aware that his father had received a northern California newspaper, The San Francisco Examiner, as payment of a gambling debt. Still a student at Harvard, he asked his father to give him the newspaper to run. In 1887, he became the paper's publisher and devoted long hours and much money to making it a success. Crusading for civic improvement and exposing municipal corruption, he greatly increased the paper's circulation.

Moving on to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World that led to the creation of "yellow journalism"--sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst ultimately created a chain that at its peak numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities. Eventually, he expanded into magazines as well, building the largest newspaper and magazine chain in the world.

Although he was elected two times to the U.S. House of Representatives, he was defeated in 1906 in a race for governor of New York. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, most notably in whipping up the public frenzy that pushed the U.S. into war with Spain in 1898. His life story was a source of inspiration for the lead character in Orson Welles' classic film, Citizen Kane. More...

 
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