New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps” and where the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are located. New York is also famous for its fashion week, as well as being the publishing capital of the world. One of these publications is the widely read newspaper The New York Times. However, there is another popular newspaper in the city that has been pumping out news since the 1800s.
The New York Evening Post, or as it’s now called, the New York Post, was started by Alexander Hamilton in the 1820s. In the beginning William Coleman was hired to be editor-in-chief, but in 1829 William Cullen Bryant was hired to replace him. Bryant strongly believed in standing up for the rights of people who were being enslaved. He staunchly supported the emergence of trade unions and went out on a limb to support the Society of Journeyman Tailors when they went on strike.
In 1881 Henry Villard was ushered in as the new editor-in-chief of the New York Post. Villard had emigrated from Germany and held very definite political views, which strongly influenced the New York Post. Carl Schurz, another German, was hired to be the paper’s new managing editor and he too had very radical views. Schurz’ career at the paper was brief as Villard soon hired Edwin Godkin as managing editor. Godkin had been the editor of The Nation, another publication owned by Villard.
Henry Villard died in 1900, and ownership of the New York Post passed to his son, Oswald Garrison Villard. Like his father, he too had radical political beliefs and opinions and published articles on such topics as reforming trade unions, equal rights for African Americans and women’s suffrage.
Oswald Garrison Villard proved to be a strong advocate of human rights when he became one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). He was also among the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Both these organizations still exist today and exert an enormous influence on American society. Despite being very determined in what he advocated for, he was also a well-known pacifist and demonstrated this by objecting to the United States’ involvement in World War I. This stance backfired and Villard was forced to sell the paper in 1918 as a result of a drop in readership and a fall in advertising revenue.
In 1939 the granddaughter of well-known financier Jacob Schiff, Dorothy Schiff acquired the New York Post and hired Ted Thackrey to be the new editor-in-chief. He streamlined the paper into what we now call a tabloid. It continued to maintain it’s strong political views and was the only New York City newspaper that came out in support of Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Party’s candidate for president.
Schiff’s reign at the New York Post ended in 1977 when Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper.