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William Randolph Hearst was born into wealth His father George was a man who struck it rich in the copper and silver mines and land speculation When he was forty-two George married Phoebe Apperson who was a school teacher and also twenty years younger than her husband George was absent much of the time and therefore William was raised mostly by his mother William Randolph Hearst would eventually operate the worlds largest publishing empire He had tremendous ambition and seemed to seek power Hearsts story begins with his career as a journalist and that in turn begins at Harvard University Academically he did not do all that well and was eventually expelled in his junior year What Hearst did do successfully at Harvard however was turn the Lampoon a humor magazine into a profit-maker After leaving school Hearst went to New York and became a reporter for Joseph Pulitzers New York World where he studied circulation building techniques firsthand In 1887 he went to San Francisco to take over his fathers uninteresting newspaper the Examiner As the editor and publisher of the Examiner Hearst did several things that would be typical of his career in newspapers First he became a advocate for clean government and popular rights He waged campaigns that included ending the domination of the state government by the Southern Pacific Company obtaining lower water rates for San Francisco as well as other civic improvements and reforms He also obtained the best writing talent by paying top salaries in order to lure reporters away from other papers Thirdly Hearst slanted the news He himself once wrote that The modern editor of the popular journal does not care for the facts He wants novelty and he would prefer novelty that is not fact to a fact that is not a novelty Hearst used these techniques to turn the failing Examiner into one
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