"I cannot understand why it is, Mr. Pulitzer, that you always speak so kindly of reporters and so severely of all editors." "Well", Pulitzer replied, "I suppose it is because every reporter is a hope, and every editor is a disappointment."
Joseph Pulitzer (April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911), born Pulitzer József, was a Hungarian-American Jewish newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of "new journalism" to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s. He became a leading national figure in the Democratic Party and was elected Congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption, and helped keep the Statue of Liberty in New York.
In the 1890s the fierce competition between his World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal caused both to use yellow journalism for wider appeal; it opened the way to mass-circulation newspapers that depended on advertising revenue and appealed to readers with multiple forms of news, entertainment and advertising.
Today, he is best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established in 1917 by money he bequeathed to Columbia University to recognize artistic and journalistic achievements. The prizes are given annually to award achievements in journalism and photography, as well as literature and history, poetry, music and drama. Pulitzer founded the Columbia School of Journalism by his philanthropic bequest; it opened in 1912.
He was born as Pulitzer József in Makó, about 200 km south-east of Budapest in Hungary. The Pulitzers were among several Jewish families living in the area, and had established a reputation as merchants and shopkeepers. In 1858, after Fülöp's(Joseph's father) death, his business went bankrupt, and the family became impoverished. Joseph attempted to enlist in various European armies for work before immigrating to the United States.
Pulitzer arrived in Boston in 1864 at the age of 17, his passage having been paid by Massachusetts military recruiters who were seeking soldiers for the long American Civil War. Learning that the recruiters were pocketing the lion's share of his enlistment bounty, Pulitzer snuck away from the Deer Island recruiting station and made his way to New York. He was paid $200 to enroll in the Lincoln Cavalry on September 30. He was a part of Sheridan's troopers, in the First New York Lincoln Cavalry in Company L., where he served for eight months. Although he spoke three languages: German, Hungarian, and French, Pulitzer learned little English until after the war because his regiment was composed mostly of German immigrants.
He moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts for the whaling industry, but found it was too boring for him. He returned to New York with little money. Flat broke, he slept in wagons on cobblestone side streets. He decided to travel by "side-door Pullman" to St. Louis, Missouri. He sold his one possession, a white handkerchief, for 75 cents.
When Pulitzer arrived at the city, he recalled, "The lights of St. Louis looked like a promised land to me". In the city, his German was as useful as it was in Munich because of the large ethnic German population, due to strong immigration since the revolutions of 1848. In the Westliche Post, he saw an ad for a mule hostler at Benton Barracks. The next day he walked four miles and got the job, but held it for only two days. He quit due to the poor food and the whims of the mules, stating "The man who has not cared for sixteen mules does not know what work and troubles are." Pulitzer had difficulty holding jobs; he was too scrawny for heavy labor and likely too proud and temperamental to take orders.
He worked as a waiter at Tony Faust, a famous restaurant on Fifth Street. It was frequented by members of the St. Louis Philosophical Society, including Thomas Davidson, the German Henry C. Brockmeyer, a nephew of Otto Von Bismarck; and William Torrey Harris. Pulitzer studied Brockmeyer, who was famous for translating Hegel, and he "would hang on Brockmeyer's thunderous words, even as he served them pretzels and beer". He was fired after a tray slipped from his hand and a patron was soaked in beer.
Pulitizer spent his free time at the St. Louis Mercantile Library on the corner of Fifth and Locust, studying English and reading voraciously. Soon after, he and several dozen men each paid a fast-talking promoter five dollars. He promised them good-paying jobs on a Louisiana sugar plantation. They boarded a steamboat, which took them downriver 30 miles south of the city, where the crew forced them off. When the boat churned away, the men concluded the promised plantation jobs were a ruse. They walked back to the city, where Pulitzer wrote an account of the fraud and was pleased when it was accepted by the Westliche Post, evidently his first published news story.
In the building where the Westliche Post was co-edited by Dr. Emil Pretorius and Carl Schurz, the attorneys William Patrick and Charles Phillip Johnson and surgeon Joseph Nash McDowell also worked. Patrick and Johnson referred to Pulitzer as "Shakespeare" because of his extraordinary profile. They helped him secure a job with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. His work was to record the railroad land deeds in the twelve counties in southwest Missouri where the railroad planned to build a line. When he was done, the lawyers gave him desk space and allowed him to study law in their library to prepare for the bar.
On March 6, 1867, Pulitzer renounced his allegiance to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and became a naturalized American citizen. He still frequented the Mercantile Library, where he befriended the librarian Udo Brachvogel in what was a lifetime relationship. He often played in the chess room where Carl Schurz noticed his aggressive style. Schurz was admired by Pulitzer. He was an inspiring emblem of American democracy and of the success attainable by a foreign-born citizen through his own energies and skills. In 1868, Pulitzer was admitted to the bar, but his broken English and odd appearance kept clients away. He struggled with the execution of minor papers and the collecting of debts. That year, when the Westliche Post needed a reporter, he was offered the job.
Pulitzer displayed a flair for reporting. He would work 16 hours a day—from 10 AM to 2 AM. He was nicknamed "Joey the German" or "Joey the Jew". He joined the Philosophical Society and frequented a German bookstore where many intellectuals hung out.
He joined the Republican Party. On December 14, 1869, Pulitzer attended the Republican meeting at the St. Louis Turnhalle on Tenth Street, where party leaders needed a candidate to fill a vacancy in the state legislature. They settled on Pulitzer, nominating him unanimously, forgetting he was only 22, three years under the required age. However, his chief Democratic opponent was possibly ineligible because he had served in the Confederate army. Pulitzer had energy. He organized street meetings, called personally on the voters, and exhibited such sincerity along with his oddities that he had pumped a half-amused excitement into a campaign that was normally lethargic. He won 209-147.
His age was not made an issue and he was seated as a state representative in Jefferson City at the session beginning January 5, 1870. He had lived there for only two years. He also moved him up one notch in the administration at the Westliche Post. He eventually became its managing editor, and obtained a proprietary interest.
In 1917, Columbia organized the awards of the first Pulitzer Prizes in journalism. The awards have been expanded to recognize achievements in literature, poetry, history, music, and drama.
Legacy and honors
SOME INTERESTING POSTS!!!!!
International Seminar on "Role of E-Learning in Quality Education" on 22-23 February, 2015 at RH Government PG College Kashipur, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand
Tribute to the ONE who paved the word SWARAJYA & logically questioned as well as studied religions!!!