Jump To William Hearst's Stats
Mark Twain and Jack London use to call him boss. At the turn of the 20th Century, William Randolf Hearst was set on making his mark through print journalism and the advent of mass production. Hearst took advantage of his privileged upbring and took the reigns of the San Francisco Chronicle to a place where he owned, operated and managed more that 30 large daily newspapers in large cities around the United States at great expense.
His populist style wasn't always welcomed by those well-situated. He ran up against the likes of Joesph Pulitzer and the Pulitzer Publishing company on the east coast as both tried to grab the public attention and gain business share in the communication business. The byproduct was yellow journalism that tainted the news by using spectacular headlines to gain market appeal.
Hearst grew from newspapers into magazines and then into political persuasion. He twice attained constituent support through the use of his publishing empire. In a 1905 and again in 1909, Hearst unsuccessfully ran for the Mayorship of New York City. His appetite for power seemed difficult to quench.
The land he inherited from his father included more than one million acres of prime land in California. In the early 1900s half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he began building a castle in Sam Simeon, California on a quarter of the original land stake.
Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada ("The Enchanted Slope"), but he usually just called it "the ranch". He also commissioned what some now call the most expensive house in the United States that is located in Beverly Hills. That property is loaded with 29 bedrooms, tennis courts and three swimming pools. The Beverly Hills house has since changed hands, but its price tag hovers near the $100 million mark.