Astonishing Mr. Scripps-92

Vance H. Trimble, Author Iowa State Press $42.95 (547p) ISBN 978-0-8138-0679-2
Although one of the founders of a major American newspaper chain, Edward Scripps (1854-1926) hardly merits the adjective ``astonishing.'' A bookish Ohio farm boy, he left for Detroit at age 18 to work for older brother James, who had dreams of publishing a four-page tabloid for a penny (in the era of five-cent broadsheet dailies) that would speak for the poor and the laboring class. In 1873 James launched the Detroit Evening News ; its triumph was followed by a Cleveland paper run on the same principles. After James died, Edward became the head of the growing chain; by the time of his death the Scripps-Howard group (having added the name of brilliant executive Roy Howard) had established 44 papers, of which only nine had folded. Edward's chief contributions were founding the first newspaper syndicate and a willingness to gamble with new press ventures. Politically he always spoke for the common man, but his stubborn tyrranizing destroyed his family life, and by his last years he had become a thorough-going misanthrope. A Scripps family friend and former Scripps-Howard employee, Trimble ( The Uncertain Miracle ) delivers a comprehensive but sycophantic chronicle. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1992
Release date: 03/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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