Hearst, William Randolph

Hearst micromanages the furnishing of his Wyntoon estate!

Price: $350.00

Description:
(1863-1951) American newspaper magnate, son of self-made millionaire George Hearst who became owner of The San Francisco Examiner as payment of a gambling debt. In 1887, he became its publisher, crusading for civic improvement and against municipal corruption, greatly increasing the paper's circulation. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World. That led to the creation of "yellow journalism", scandal-mongering, jingoism, and sensationalism. By the mid-1920s he had 28 newspapers, inc. the Los Angeles Examiner, the Boston American, the Detroit Times, the Washington Herald, and his flagship, the San Francisco Examiner. He wielded enormous influence, whipping up public frenzy that pushed the US into war with Spain in 1898. NY US Rep. 1903-07, defeated for mayor and governor, unsuccessfully sought 1904 Democratic presidential nomination. In 1903, he married Millicent Willson (1882Ė1974), a 21-year-old chorus girl. He became intimate with actress Marion Davies (1897Ė1961), and from ca. 1919 lived openly with her in California. Beginning in 1919, he began to construct (and never completed) a spectacular castle on a 240,000 acre ranch at San Simeon, California, which he furnished with antiques, art, and entire rooms brought from the great houses of Europe. In 1924 he opened the New York Daily Mirror, a racy tabloid. Among his other holdings were: Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar masgazines; Universal News and International News Service; King Features Syndicate; a film company, Cosmopolitan Productions; extensive NYC real estate; thousands of acres of land in California and Mexico; and timber and mining interests. The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak ca. 1928, but the Depression and vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. Unable to service existing debts, the Hearst Corporation faced court-mandated reorganization in 1937. Newspapers and other properties were liquidated, the film company shut down, and a well-publicized sale of his art and antiquities was held. While WW II restored circulation and advertising revenues, his great days were over. His story inspired Orson Welles' classic 1941 film, "Citizen Kane", and Hearst used all his resources and influence in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the film's release. Draft ALS "WRH" + ANS "WRH" postscript on two 8 x 5 white sheets, each with "766" stamped at top left, no place, no date but ca. 1933, to Mr. (Mac) McClure, Hearst's independent architectural employee at his Wyntoon estate. Hearst, to whom no small detail seemed to be unimportant, tells McClure "house c. is ok as is for the present" and "Robinson" (probably a decorator) can proceed with slipcovers as selected. He asks McClure if they can get 2 very small easy chairs "like those in the north east room up the stairs into the tower rooms." If so, Hearst okays it but McClure should have doors put at base of stairs. On 2nd sheet he wants 8 of the "smaller ones No. 316" and asks that the data be sent to Miss Williams and McClure should ask her to look into the matter but not to offend Robinson "as the saving would not be very great in any case." WARREN "MAC" McCLURE (1897-?) was Hearst's freelance architectural employee from 1938, when Julia Morgan stepped down, until almost to Hearstís death in 1951. McClure and Hearst puttered about at Wyntoon (all the small budget would allow) right into the early part of WW II. Hearst prevailed upon Morgan to visit Wyntoon and see what could be done under those improbable conditions. She went to the site and drew up some new plans for a portion of the Bavarian Village that wasnít quite finished. Thus did Hearst and Morgan facilitate the transition of Mac McClure from what had technically been his status as a draftsman in the Morgan office to that of an independent contractor (still a draftsman) on Hearstís private payroll. Ella Williams was a Hearst employee at Cosmopolitan Corporation and acted as a personal special assistant to "the Chief". WYNTOON in rural Siskiyou County, Calif., began as a humble fishing resort, improved by San Francisco lawyer Charles Stetson Wheeler, his client Phoebe Apperson Hearst, and her son, William Randolph. In 1900, Phoebe Hearst purchased a 99-year lease on part of the land and purchased adjoining land held by Edward Clark, her financial adviser, who called it Wyntoon, which name Hearst applied to the combination of the properties. In 1901 she contracted for a magnificent 7-story grand residence in the Gothic style of a Rhine River castle. Wm. Randolph Hearst bought Wyntoon outright in 1929 and in 1934 bought all of Wheeler Ranch and The Bend, a combined total of 50,000 acres. Architect Julia Morgan designed 4 structures at Wyntoon. In July 1931 Hearst stopped all construction plans. The Depression greatly diminished his income, and he could not pay for his $50 million project at Wyntoon while expanding San Simeon. Abandoning the massive castle idea, Hearst asked Morgan to design a "Bavarian Village" in the medieval style of Germany or Austria. In 1932, Morgan put together a master plan for Wyntoon including a group of guesthouses with romantic names arranged around a common green in the Beaux-Arts style, completed in 1933. In mid-1937, Hearst was forced by bankruptcy to sign over all of his holdings to a group of trustees called the Conservation Committee, Wyntoon included. Before Christmas 1941 Hearst moved to Wyntoon with Marion Davies, leaving San Simeon because of WW II-required blackout conditions for coastal properties. Davies loathed the remote location she called "Spittoon." Hearst moved up to Wyntoon in the early years of WW II, fearing a Japanese submarine taking retribution for Hearstís many anti-Japanese editorials by blasting away at San Simeon. He took his gardener and much of the crew with him, to turn the Bavarian-inspired hideaway in the shadow of Mt. Shasta into a well-groomed garden spot.

Condition: Very good, 1 1/2" clear tape at top right of 1st page and on verso of 2nd page, light folds; very slight wear
Type:Letter






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