Joseph Pulitzer is a newspaper publisher, journalist, lawyer, philanthropist, and member of the US Congress. He fought corruption and big business in America and helped create the modern newspaper. He is known for contributing to the preservation of the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Pulitzer Prize, which was launched in his name and recognized for excellence in journalism, photography, literature, history, theater, music and poetry. He was born in Hungary on April 10, 1847. When he arrived in Boston he was 17 years old and quickly went to New York where he enrolled. After the civil war, he studied English and was employed as a journalist. At the age of 25 he became a publisher and made significant contributions to the development of newspapers in the United States.
As a teenager, Joseph Pulitzer was turned down by Austrian, British, and French armies because of his poor eyesight.
Joseph Pulitzer was born Pulitzer Jozsef in Mako, Hungary on April 10th, 1847 to a wealthy grain merchant family.
Upon reaching St. Louis, he waited tables, tended to mules, and—in a clear sign of desperation—worked as a gravedigger during an 1866 cholera epidemic.
Joseph was 11 when his father died. His mother remarried a businessman.
He worked in the Missouri state legislature, and later as a Congressional representative from New York’s 9th district.
Joseph Pulitzer was educated in Budapest in private schools.
He also served as a delegate for the Liberal Republican Party in 1872 and for the Democratic Party in 1880.
Joseph Pulitzer immigrated to the United States in 1864 and joined the Lincoln Calvary where he served until the Civil War ended.
Joseph Pulitzer was fluent in Hungarian, French, and German but he had to learn English when he arrived in the United States.
Joseph Pulitzer’s first journalism job was with the Westliche Post in St. Louis.
In the 1860s Joseph Pulitzer studied law and was elected to the Missouri Legislature in 1869.
In 1871 he became part owner of the Westliche Post for only $3,000. He sold his share a year later for a profit.
In 1879 Joseph Pulitzer bought two newspapers in St. Louis and merged them as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It still exists today.
Joseph Pulitzer was admitted to the bar in 1874 in Washington, D.C. AT the time he was also a New York Sun correspondent.
In 1877 Joseph Pulitzer married Kate Davis. Together they would have 7 children and remained married until his death in 1911.
In 1883 Joseph Pulitzer bought the newspaper the New York World for $346,000. The newspaper was losing money when he bought it.
Joseph Pulitzer began to go blind in the 1880s and by 1889 he was blind.
Joseph Pulitzer focused on human interest, scandal, and exposing corruption in big business. He was known for his support of the common man.
Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper was in competition with William Hearst’s newspaper. They had a headline war in the 1890s but eventually Pulitzer backed off believing that their battle had gone too far.
Joseph Pulitzer died on October 29th, 1911 on his yacht n South Carolina. His will left $2 million to establish a journalism school in New York City at Columbia University.
Joseph Pulitzer’s will also stipulated the Pulitzer Prize terms in his will. The prizes were first awarded in 1917.
Joseph Pulitzer’s sons Ralph and Joseph also became journalists. His grandson Joseph Jr. also followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.
Joseph Pulitzer’s wife Kate died in France almost 16 years after he did. Of his 7 children, two died before reaching adulthood.