Jewish Roots of the Pulitzer Prize
Born in Makó, Hungary on April 10, 1847 to two Jewish parents, Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the U.S. in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. After moving to St. Louis, Joseph became a naturalized citizen in 1867, passed the bar, served in the state legislature, and began reporting for the Westliche Post.
He bought and merged the St. Louis Dispatch and the St. Louis Post in 1878, the same year he married Katherine Davis. Five years later, after moving to New York, he bought the New York World, growing its circulation 4,000% (40 times – from 15,000 to 600,000) to become the largest newspaper in the U.S. In 1884, Pulitzer served as a New York representative in the U.S. House.
He died in 1911, leaving money to establish the School of Journalism at Columbia University in the City of New York. It organized the Pulitzer Prizes in 1917 in his honor.