Editor says, what if William Randolph Hearst had been killed in a traffic accident in 1885? muses Jeff Provine on the This Day in Alternate History web site. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, in reality William Randolph Hearst was expelled from Harvard after the golden chamber pot incident. His father gave him the San Francisco Examiner as something to do, and Hearst leaped into creating his publishing empire. A populist, Hearst reduced the price of his papers to one cent and used exciting, often "yellow" journalism to move copies. He would employ many of America's greatest writers such as Jack London and Mark Twain and become deeply invested in politics, later being instrumental in activities such as expansionism, Free Silver, and the criminalization of marijuana. His life, including his decades-long involvement with actress Marion Davies, would be inspiration for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, a film Hearst would refuse to advertise in his papers. Through Hearst's influence, Citizen Kane would be booed at the Oscars and not gain recognition for another two decades, long after Hearst's death in 1951. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.