Joseph Pulitzer

1947 FDC with a Cachet Craft by Ken Boll cachet

  Joseph Pulitzer was born in Mako, Hungary on April 10, 1847, the son of a wealthy grain merchant of Magyar-Jewish origin and a German mother who was a devout Roman Catholic. He was educated by private tutors and learned French and German. However, in 1858, after his father's death, their business went bankrupt and the family became impoverished. Joseph at the age of seventeen,  decided to become a soldier and tried in turn to enlist in the Austrian Army, Napoleon's Foreign Legion for duty in Mexico, and the British Army for service in India. He was not accepted due to his weak eyesight and frail health, which were to plague him for the rest of his life. While in Hamburg, Germany, he encountered a bounty recruiter for the U.S. Union Army and contracted to enlist as a substitute for a draftee, a procedure permitted under the Civil War draft system. He Arrived in New York in 1864, he was 18, he enlisted in the Lincoln Cavalry on September 30th where  he served eight months. Joseph spoke three languages: German, Hungarian, and French, but he only learned a little English, because his regiment was mostly composed of Germans. He was mustered out in 1865 and headed west in search of work.
     He settled in St. Louis and worked at many different menial jobs, until he was recruited in 1868 by Carl Schurz for his German Language Newspaper the St louis Westliche Post, where he later became a partner in the paper. He became a force in the liberal wing of the Republican Party and  was elected to the Missouri State Assembly. In 1878 he bought the bankrupt St.Louis Dispatch and merged it with the St.Louis Evening Post which he now owned.The merger was a huge success creating the city's leading daily the Post-Dispatch . Five years later he Purchased the New York World  and within a year he boosted the circulation from 20,000 to 100,000. He combined lively illustrations, good reporting, dramatic headlines, feature articles, and the FIRST COMIC STRIPS .
    Pulitzers World was challenged in 1895 by another giant William Randolph Hearst's Journal, during their circulation war , both used Sensationalism and Jingoism in both their headlines & reporting of the News. This form of reporting became known as Yellow Journalism .  The end of the Spanish-American War, also saw the withdrawl by Pulitzer, from the practice of what had become known as yellow journalism, and focused more on waging fantastic and often beneficial campaigns against corruption in government and businesses.
Joseph Pulitzer, whose eyesight deteriorated rapidly during his later years, died in 1911 aboard his yacht in the harbor of Charleston, S.C.. In his will left $2 million for the establishment of a school of journalism at Columbia University. He also left a fund that established annual prizes for literature, drama, music and journalism. Since 1922 Pulitzer Prizes have also been awarded to cartoonists.

1947 FDC with a Grimsland Cachet
1947 FDC cachet by Smartcraft

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