Famous publisher of The San Francisco Examiner Newspaper (1887-1951) and builder of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.

Vital statistics[]

  • Son of George Hearst (1820-1891) and Phoebe Apperson
  • Born 29 April 1863 in San Francisco, CA
  • Died 14 August 1951 in Beverly Hills, CA (Age 88)
  • Married Millicent Veronica Willson (1882-1974)


The son of self-made millionaire George Hearst, he became aware that his father received a northern California newspaper, The San Francisco Examiner, as payment of a gambling debt. Still a student at Harvard, he asked his father to give him the newspaper to run. In 1887, he became the paper's publisher and devoted long hours and much money to making it a success. Crusading for civic improvement and exposing municipal corruption, he greatly increased the paper's circulation.

Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World which led to the creation of "yellow journalism"--sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.

He was elected two times to the U.S. House of Representatives, but was defeated in 1906 in a race for governor of New York. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, most notably in creating public frenzy which pushed the U.S. into war with Spain in 1898. His life story was a source of inspiration for the lead character in Orson Welles' classic film, Citizen Kane.[1]

Children of William and Millicent[]


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at William_Randolph_Hearst. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.