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William Randolph Hearst

By Edited Feb 8, 2016 1 1

William Randolph Hearst was born into wealth, but he was able to accumulate a lot more because of his business choices in life. Many historians like to paint William Randolph Hearst as a hard working individual. In his particular situation I guess you could definitely say he was hard working, but if William Randolph Hearst had been born into a poor family and grown up to be in an occupation such as a general laborer construction worker, would he still be considered a hard worker. I do not feel that William Randolph Hearst would have excelled in life if it was not for his rich and affluent roots. Fortunately William Randolph Hearst used his rich heritage to make a name for himself.

Hearst
The Story of Hearst begins in 1863 when he was born. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States. Hearst had a relatively normal upbringing for a child born of affluence and wealth. When Hearst was 24 years old he began managing the San Francisco Examiner newspaper. It was relatively easy for him to get the job because his father owned the paper; however his father had full faith in him that he could do it. It may have been a tad risky to put Hearst on as the head manager of the newspaper, but there had to be trust he could do it because the paper still needed to be profitable. This job launched the career of Hearst and made him one of the most famous newspaper men in the history of the World.

One of the things that helped Hearst to succeed at his position as head of the newspaper was one of the top writers at the time, Mark Twain. After the success he had with the San Francisco Examiner Hearst went on to expand his newspaper empire. Hearst expanded his newspaper and it soon encompassed about 18 newspapers and 18 magazines.

The first expansion of this empire occurred when Hearst bought the New York Journal. From this initial expansion Hearst went on to buy multiple newspapers. Hearst eventually had newspapers he had bought or started from scratch throughout the United States. Hearst also expanded into magazine publishing and begun numerous magazines including Cosmopolitan. Yes, Cosmo was started by Hearst.

Hearst helped to popularize and expand the comic sections in newspapers. The first full-page in a newspaper dedicated solely to comics on a regular basis was implemented because of Hearst. Hearst was definitely an influential person, especially with his money.

Although Hearst was perceived as a very successful newspaper person, not all of the newspapers were profitable. The non-profitable newspapers were kept in business with money from other Hearst holdings.  Hearst kept building his newspaper empire until the Stock Market crash of 1929. The stock market crash caused the Great Depression to take hold and Hearst was forced to get rid of many of his newspaper holdings.

Other than for being a famous newspaper man, Hearst may also be most famous for starting construction on the Hearst Castle. The Hearst Castle is famous for its large size and doors that open into nothing. The Hearst Corporation eventually donated this property to the State of California after Hearst died. Today you can go and tour the famous Hearst Castle.

 

Hearst ran for office and was very close to becoming Mayor of New York, but was defeated. Hearst also ran to be governor of New York, but lost that election too. He was however unsuccessful at becoming a Representative.

The legacy Hearst left behind is amazing. He has and still continues to affect our society in numerous ways, even though he has been dead since 1951.

The legacy left behind by William Randolph Hearst and the Hearst family continues on today in numerous ways. William Randolph Hearst himself has a mixed legacy among historians. Some view him as being a seemingly charming chap while others historians like to portray the negative side of him. It is said that William Randolph Hearst was not always the nicest person to his slowly workers who were not in the same class as him. Did William Randolph Hearsthave a slight hatred for poor people?

Regardless of what your views are on this historic man there is no debate that he changed the landscape of many industries during his lifetime, especially the newspaper industry. His closest relationship with his mother allowed him to get her help on expanding his newspaper empire from that single newspaper he started managing in San Francisco. Before her death William Randolph Hearst convinced her to sell off many of the mining assets that had helped to make the family wealthy in order to expand the newspaper empire even further. Some people view William Randolph Hearst as a shrewd businessman who made smart choices, but in retrospective William Randolph Hearst was not the best business man and he had become too cocky that he could make the newspapers as a whole profitable regardless of how far he expanded. When the Great Depression occurred William Randolph Hearst was forced into selling off many assets by Court order. He never fully recovered his wealth however he was still far from being poor. William Randolph Hearst was born a wealthy man and dies a wealthy man and this would have occurred whether he would have ever worked a day in his life or not.

William Randolph Hearst liked to think of himself as the leader of the common man. Although he did a lot to advance the rights and causes of everyday men, he could still come across as arrogant and cocky towards a regular man if William Randolph Hearst knew the man in his presence was poor and in a lower class then himself. William Randolph Hearst looked down on the common man yet relied on the common man to buy and support his newspapers. His sensationalism of the newspapers and their content was just another stab in the heart of common men and women and misled them on numerous occasions.

Hearst Castle Pool
Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3b/Hearst_Castle_2011-8.jpg
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Comments

Nov 28, 2012 10:40am
Marlando
Hi--great article on Hearst and I couldn't agree more with your observations. Hearst in a quiet way was an elitist and played a serious roll in lying to the American public to get them enthusiastic about the Spanish American War, America's most unecessary war including Vietnam. And so 2 BIG BIG thumbs for you--great article!
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