PULITZER, JOSEPH (1847–1911), American editor and publisher who bought declining newspapers and restored them to national influence. Born in Mako, Hungary, son of a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother, Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 17 to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. Discharged from the cavalry in 1865, he went to St. Louis and in 1868 became a reporter for the German-language daily Westliche Post. Three years later he bought an interest in the paper, became managing editor, and sold back his shares at a vast profit. In 1878 Pulitzer took his first big step toward creating a newspaper empire when he bought the St. Louis Dispatch at an auction for $2,500 and merged it with the St. Louis Post into the Post-Dispatch. By 1881 it was yielding profits of $85,000 a year. He left for New York in 1883 and bought The World from Jay Gould, the financier, for $346,000.
W.A. Swanberg; Pulitzer (1967); K. Stewart, Makers of Modern Journalism (1952), 86–102.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.