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The Herald Tribune: Proud legacy

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is proud to be located in the old New York Herald Tribune Building. In its heyday, the Herald Tribune earned the sobriquet the “newspaperman’s newspaper” because its editors encouraged lively writing and the paper’s owners admired talent, and were willing to pay for it.

One of seven daily papers in New York City at mid-century, the Herald Tribune rivaled The New York Times in the breadth and quality of its national and international coverage, winning 14 Pulitzer Prizes over 40 years.

The paper’s roots stretched back to 1835, when James Gordon Bennett founded the New York Herald, and 1841, when Horace Greeley founded the New York Tribune. After decades of spirited competition and distinct news styles, the papers became one in 1924, when the Tribune, owned by the family of Ogden Mills Reid, purchased the larger circulation Herald.

Prosperous times and world renown followed, with the paper winning plaudits for its modern look, aggressive reporting, provocative columnists and lively writing in all sections. Within 11 years of Reid’s death in 1947, however, sliding circulation and aggressive competition led his heirs to sell control of the paper to John Hay Whitney. Under Whitney, the Herald Tribune regained some of its former luster and attracted new talents, but continuing financial problems led to its closure in 1966.

The list of reporters and columnists whose byline appeared in the Herald Tribune reads like a “Who’s Who” in journalism. It includes: Joseph Alsop, Art Buchwald, Rowland Evans, Judith Crist, Walter Kerr, Walter Lippman, Robert Novak, Dorothy Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Marguerite Higgins and Red Smith. Also: Homer Bigart, Irita Van Doren, Clay Felker, Heywood Broun, Eugenia Sheppard, Peter Kihss, Earl Ubell, Clementine Paddleford, Dennis Duggan, James Bellows, Emma Bugbee, Richard Reeves, Roscoe Drummond and Emily Genauer.