William Randolph Hearst (April
29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American business magnate and a leading
newspaper publisher. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887, after
taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. 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 twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and is sometimes credited with pushing public opinion in the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.
His life story was a source of inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles' classic film Citizen Kane. His mansion, Hearst Castle, near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada ("The Enchanted Slope"), but he usually just called it "the ranch".