November 25, 2014 front page of the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
|Format||Compact (March 23, 2009)|
|Founded||December 12, 1878|
by Joseph Pulitzer
|Headquarters||900 North Tucker Boulevard|
St. Louis, Missouri 63101
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major regional newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri, serving St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, the Metro East and surrounding counties (roughly, the Greater St. Louis area). It is the only daily newspaper in the city. The publication has received 19 Pulitzer Prizes.
On April 10, 1907, Pulitzer wrote what became known as the paper's platform:
I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.
In 1878, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the bankrupt St. Louis Dispatch at a public auction and merged it with the St. Louis Evening Post to create the St. Louis Post and Dispatch, whose title was soon shortened to its current form. He appointed John A. Cockerill as the managing editor. Its first edition, 4,020 copies of four pages each, appeared on December 12, 1878.
In 1882, James Overton Broadhead ran for US Congress against John Glover. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, at Cockerill's direction, ran a number of articles questioning Broadhead's role in a lawsuit between a gaslight company and the city; Broadhead never responded to the charges. Broadhead's friend and law partner, Alonzo W. Slayback, publicly defended Broadhead, asserting that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was nothing more than a "blackmailing sheet." The next day, October 13, 1882, Cockerill re-ran an offensive "card" by John Glover that the paper had published the prior November (November 11, 1881). Incensed, Slayback barged into Cockerill's offices at the paper demanding an apology. Cockerill shot and killed Slayback; he claimed self-defense, and a pistol was allegedly found on Slayback's body. A grand jury refused to indict Cockerill for murder, but the economic consequences for the paper were severe. Therefore, in May 1883, Pulitzer sent Cockerill to New York to manage the New York World for him.
After Joseph Pulitzer's retirement, generations of Pulitzers guided the newspaper, ending when great-grandson Joseph Pulitzer IV left the company in 1995.
The Post-Dispatch was characterized by a liberal editorial page and columnists, including Marquis Childs. The editorial page was noted also for political cartoons by Daniel R. Fitzpatrick, who won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, and Bill Mauldin, who won the Pulitzer for editorial cartooning in 1959.
Several months prior to the anniversary edition, the newspaper published a 63rd anniversary tribute to "Our Own Oddities", a lighthearted feature that ran from 1940 to 1990.
In 1950, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sent a reporter, Dent McSkimming, to Brazil to cover the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The reporter paid for his own travelling expenses and was the only U.S. reporter in all of Brazil covering the event.
In 1959 the St. Louis Globe-Democrat entered into a joint operating agreement with the Post-Dispatch. The Post–Globe operation merged advertising, printing functions and shared profits. The Post-Dispatch, distributed evenings, had a smaller circulation than the Globe-Democrat, a morning daily. The Globe-Democrat folded in 1983, leaving the Post-Dispatch as the only daily newspaper in the region.
On January 13, 2004, the Post-Dispatch published a 125th anniversary edition, which included some highlights of the paper's 125 years:
- Coverage of Charles Lindbergh, who flew across the Atlantic despite being denied financial or written support from the Post-Dispatch.
- A Pulitzer Prize-winning campaign to clean up smoke pollution in St. Louis. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the city had the filthiest air in America. See 1939 St. Louis smog.
- Sports coverage, including nine "St. Louis baseball Cardinals" championships, an NBA title by the St. Louis Hawks in 1958, and the 2000 Super Bowl victory of the St. Louis Rams.
- Coverage of the city's "cultural icons" including Kate Chopin, Tennessee Williams, Chuck Berry, and Miles Davis.
On January 31, 2005, Michael Pulitzer announced the sale of Pulitzer, Inc. and all its assets, including the Post-Dispatch and a small share of the St. Louis Cardinals, to Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa, for $1.46 billion. He said no family members would serve on the board of the merged company.
On March 12, 2007, the paper eliminated 31 jobs, mostly in its circulation, classified phone rooms, production, purchasing, telephone operations and marketing departments. Several rounds of layoffs have followed.
On May 4, 2012, the Post-Dispatch named a new editor, Gilbert Bailon.
In 2015, the paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for its coverage of protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Circulation dropped for the daily paper from 213,472 to 191,631 and then 178,801 for the two years after 2010, ending on September 30, 2011, and September 30, 2012, respectively. The Sunday paper also decreased from 401,427 to 332,825 and then 299,227. The circulation as of September 30, 2016, was 98,104 daily and 157,543 on Sunday.
According to a 2017 press release from Lee Enterprises, the paper reaches more than 792,600 readers each week and stltoday.com has roughly 67 million page views a month.
On February 11, 1901, the paper introduced a front-page feature called the "Weatherbird", a cartoon bird accompanying the daily weather forecast. "Weatherbird" is the oldest continuously published cartoon in the United States. Created by Harry B. Martin who drew it through 1903, it has since been drawn by Oscar Chopin (1903–1910); S. Carlisle Martin (1910–1932); Amadee Wohlschlaeger (1932–1981); Albert Schweitzer, the first one to draw the Weatherbird in color (1981–1986); and Dan Martin (1986–present).
- Joseph Pulitzer
- Jerry Berger, society columnist, 1980–2004
- Bob Broeg, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1946–2004
- Jacob Burck, political cartoonist, 1937–1938
- Cole Charles Campbell, editor, 1996–2000.
- Richard Dudman, national affairs correspondent and Washington bureau chief, 1950–1981
- Daniel R. Fitzpatrick
- Rick Hummel, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1971–
- Carlos Hurd, a reporter who happened to be on the Carpathia when it rescued the survivors of the Titanic, and who covered the 1918 East St. Louis riots.
- Clair Kenamore, foreign correspondent, telegraph editor, feature writer and Sunday magazine editor, early 20th century
- Joe Mahr, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, 2006–2009
- Rose Marion (ca. 1875-1947), feature writer
- Harry B. Martin
- S. Carlisle Martin
- Marguerite Martyn, reporter and artist (born ca. 1880, died 1948)
- Bill Mauldin
- Bill McClellan, columnist, 1980–present
- Tony Messenger, columnist, 2011–present
- Bernie Miklasz, sports columnist, 1985–2015
- Robert Minor, political cartoonist, 1907–1911
- Charlie Ross, chief Washington correspondent and editor, 1918–1945
- Lou Rose, investigative reporter, 1964–1995 
- Neal Russo, baseball writer and copy editor, 1947–1990
- Elaine Viets, columnist, 1975–2000.
- Joe Williams, film critic, 1996–2015
- Amadee Wohlschlaeger
- William Woo, journalist and editor-in-chief, 1962–1996
- St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a major competing St. Louis daily newspaper, located one block away on the same street, closed in 1986
- St. Louis Sun, a short lived competing daily newspaper started in 1989
- 100 Neediest Cases, an annual charitable giving campaign sponsored in part by the Post-Dispatch
- Riverfront Times, the St. Louis weekly newspaper
- The Sporting News, a sports magazine that was started in St. Louis
- REPORTS, FROM STAFF. "New publisher named at Post-Dispatch". stltoday.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- "Post-Dispatch ups buyout offer to 20 employees". St. Louis Business Journal. February 3, 2017. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017.
- "Pulitzer prizes won by the Post-Dispatch". stltoday.com. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch Platform from the newspaper's website.
- Jolley, Laura R. "Joseph Pulitzer". Missouri Biographies for Students. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Shepley, Carol Ferring. Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery. Missouri History Museum: St. Louis, 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-07-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Tady, Megan (February 3, 2009). "Washington Reporters' Mass Exodus". Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- "Daniel R. Fitzpatrick of St. Louis Post-Dispatch". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- Hanc, John (10 June 2010). "Walter Bahr reflects on the day the US beat England and stunned the soccer world". AARP. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- "ST. LOUIS GLOBE-DEMOCRAT ANNOUNCES IT WILL CLOSE THIS YEAR". The New York Times. 7 November 1983. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- "Post‐Dispatch in St. Louis Publishes After 6 Weeks". Associated Press. 6 October 1973. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- "St. Louis Post Dispatch to cut 31 Jobs", St. Louis Business Journal, March 12, 2007.
- Top 100 Newspapers in the United States Archived 2016-04-16 at the Wayback Machine, Accessed August 17, 2016.
- As of September 30, 2012 "2012 Top Media Outlets: Newspapers, Blogs, Consumer Magazines, Social Networks, and Websites". BurrellesLuce. January 2013. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- "St. Louis Post-Dispatch named Lee's 2017 Enterprise of the Year". Lee Enterprises. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
- "St. Louis Public Library UPDATE: A Tribute to Amadee". St. Louis Public Library, City of St. Louis. September 4, 2014. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
- Johnston, David Cay (January 8, 2007), "" Archived 2017-06-09 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times.
- "When Titanic sank in 1912, P-D reporter Carlos Hurd landed the story of a lifetime". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- "Marguerite Martyn Dies; Artist, Writer," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1948, page 5A Archived December 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Louis J. Rose: investigative reporter exposed St. Louis corruption". stltoday.com. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- Jim McWilliams, Mark Twain in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1874–1891 (Troy, New York: Whitston Publishing Company, 1997).
- Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 286–93
- Daniel W. Pfaff, Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-Dispatch: A Newspaperman's Life (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991).
- Julian S. Rammelkamp, Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch, 1878–1883 (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1967).
- Charles G. Ross and Carlos F. Hurd, The Story of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis: Pulitzer Publishing, 1944).
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Appraised by Ten Distinguished Americans (St. Louis, 1926).
- Orrick Johns, Time of Our Lives: The Story of My Father and Myself, (New York, 1937). George Sibley Johns, father of the author, was editor of the Post-Dispatch for many years, and was the last of Joseph Pulitzer's "Fighting Editors".
- Dan Martin, The story of the First 100 Years of the St. Louis Post Dispatch Weatherbird (St. Louis, 2001).