Garrison Keillor, in his Writer’s Almanac, reminded us today to wish Joseph Pulitzer a happy 159th birthday.
Born in Budapest, he moved to the U.S. in 1864, and later bought the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1878.
Later upon buying the New York World newspaper, he said, “There is room in this great and growing city for a journal that is not only cheap but bright, not only bright but large, not only large but truly democratic–dedicated to the cause of the people rather than that of purse potentates–devoted more to the news of the New than the Old World; that will expose all fraud and sham; fight all public evils and abuses; that will serve and battle for the people with earnest sincerity.”
Becoming fabuously wealthy (and famously controversial), he, of course, endowed the Columbia J-School as well as the Pulitzer prizes for journalism, literature, drama, and music. He died in 1911 on his yacht in South Carolina.
Stay tuned on the 17th for this year’s prize announcements.