1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hearst, William Randolph

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HEARST, WILLIAM RANDOLPH (1863-       ), American newspaper proprietor, was born in San Francisco, Cal., April 29 1863. He entered Harvard in 1882 but left after three years without finishing his course. As the only child of George F. Hearst (1820-1891), U.S. senator from California (1886-91), a mining man of great wealth, he had the use of ample capital at the outset of his career. In 1886 he became proprietor of the San Francisco Examiner, the first of a long chain of papers to come under his control. In 1895 he bought the New York Journal and the following year founded the Evening Journal, the morning paper being known after 1902 as the New York American. Other papers founded by him were the Chicago American (1900); The Chicago Examiner (1902); the Los Angeles Examiner (1902); The Boston American (1904), and the Atlanta Georgian (1906). He also purchased the Boston Advertiser (1917); the Chicago Herald (1918), thereafter combined with the Examiner as the Herald and Examiner; the Washington Times (1919); and the Madison Wisconsin Times (1919). He was likewise proprietor of the Cosmopolitan Magazine; Good-Housekeeping Magazine; Harper's Bazaar; Hearst's Magazine; Motor Magazine; and Motor-Boating Magazine. His papers were sensational in form and contents and had an enormous popular circulation. They upheld the cause of the people against the moneyed interests, but the charge was often brought that they appealed to the baser passions. They were America's chief representatives of “yellow journalism” (see 19.569). In 1916 they were barred from circulation in Canada “because of garbled despatches” concerning the World War. After America's entrance into the war they were frequently charged with disloyalty and in many towns attempts were made to suppress them. From 1903 to 1907 Mr. Hearst was representative in Congress from New York, and in 1904 had support as presidential candidate at the National Democratic Convention. In 1905 he was Democratic candidate for mayor of New York on the Municipal Ownership ticket, and four years later on the Independence League ticket; in 1906 he was candidate for governor of New York on the Democratic and Independence League tickets, in every instance being defeated. He strongly opposed the League of Nations.