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Edward Rosewater

ROSEWATER, EDWARD (1841–1906), U.S. journalist, publisher, editor and politician. Rosewater, who was born in Bukoven, Bohemia, went to the U.S. with his family in 1854. He soon became a telegrapher, and as a member of the United States Military Telegraph Corps during the Civil War, he accompanied Union forces and was responsible for transmission of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Rosewater went to Omaha as manager of Edward Creighton's Pacific Telegraph Company and also worked as a newspaper correspondent. He was elected to the Nebraska State Legislature in 1871 and founded the Omaha Daily Bee in connection with a campaign to establish an Omaha Board of Education. The rights of the common man and public improvements were constantly championed in the pages of the Bee, and though Rosewater gained numerous enemies, he became one of Omaha's best known and most influential citizens. Active in politics, Rose-water served on the Republican National Committee and its advisory board, represented the United States at two Universal Postal Congresses, and served on the Mint Commission. Advocating direct election of U.S. senators, civil service and labor reforms, a postal telegraph system, and postal savings banks, and opposed to trusts and unequal taxation, Rosewater twice unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate. His son VICTOR ROSEWATER (1871–1940) succeeded him as editor of the Bee. He was active in Republican Party politics, chaired Omaha's first home rule charter convention and served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the Omaha Public Library Board, and other public bodies. He was also a founding member of the American Jewish Committee. Rosewater retired from newspaper work in 1920. He was director of publicity for the Sesquicentennial Exposition, and later devoted himself to writing and lecturing. His books include: Liberty Bell (1926) and History of Cooperative News Gathering in the United States (1930).


C. Gendler, Jews of Omaha (thesis, University of Omaha, 1968); J.A. Micks, in: DAB (1935), 171–2; New York Times (July 13, 1940), 13.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.