After an 8 month stint in the Union Army, a 2 day layover as a mule hoster in St. Louis, and dozens of other odd jobs, Hungarian-American Joseph Pulitzer would get his first newspaper job in 1868 at the Westliche Post where he distinguished himself as a tough, energetic reporter.
Afterwards, he spent some time in politics before purchasing the Post in 1872. In 1873 he sold it for a profit and in 1879 he purchased the St. Louis Dispatch and merged it with the Post creating the St. Louis-Post Dispatch
Like Hearst, Pulitzer spent much of his focus at the Post Dispatch fighting for the common man. It wasn’t until 1883 when Pulitzer purchased the New York World for $346,000 that his famous battle with Hearst began. Covering human-interest, crime and scandals, Pulitzer grew the circulation of the New York World from 15,000 to 600,000.
In 1892, Pulitzer offered Columbia University money to establish a school of journalism. It wasn’t until 1902 that they would accept his offer, and it wouldn’t be until after his death in 1912 that the school would be established.
Pulitzer’s lasting legacy can still be felt today. Starting in 1917, every year, the Pulitzer prizes for journalism are awarded for extraordinary work in the field.
As for Pulitzer in the movies, the antagonist in Disney’s Newsies is supposed to be based on a (loose) interpretation of his life.