Frank I. Cobb

Frank Irving Cobb (August 6, 1869 – December 21, 1923) was an American journalist, primarily an editorial writer from 1896 to his death. In 1904 he succeeded Joseph Pulitzer as editor of Pulitzer's newspaper The World of New York. He became famous for his editorials in support of the policies of liberal Democrats, especially Woodrow Wilson, during the Progressive Era.


Cobb was born to a Yankee farm family in Shawnee County, Kansas, which includes the state capital Topeka. His parents were Minor H. Cobb and Mathilda A (Nee Clark) Cobb, who was the first White child born in Grand Rapids.[1] He grew up in a lumber camp in Michigan. Educated at local schools with a term as the state college, at age 21 he became a cub reporter on the Grand Rapids Herald for $6 a week. He moved up to political correspondent and finally city editor. After working on the rival Grand Rapids Daily Eagle (acquired by the Grand Rapids Press in 1892), Cobb went to a major metropolitan paper, the Evening News of Detroit, as political correspondent covering state politics. His vivid writing style and strong opinion brought a promotion to editorial writer in 1896, and chief editorial writer in 1899.

He was married first in 1897 to Delia S. Bailey and second, on October 2, 1913, to Margaret Hubbard Ayer, a well-known newspaper woman. He and Ayer were the parents of columnist Hubbard Cobb.[2] He worked in New York City but retreated as often as possible to their suburban estate near Westport, Connecticut.

Cobb was editor of The World for almost twenty years, from 1904 until his death from cancer on December 21, 1923. A few months later, his widow received a special Pulitzer Prize "awarded to the widow of the late Frank I. Cobb, New York World, in recognition of the distinction of her husband's editorial writing and service." The organization now lists it as one of the Editorial Writing Pulitzers, which The Boston Herald won in 1924.[3]

New York World

Cobb was editorial writer at the Detroit Free Press from 1900 to 1904, when he was hired by Joseph Pulitzer, who owned the crusading New York City newspaper The World, then one of the two largest papers in the country. Cobb soon became Pulitzer's chief advisor and editorial writer.

The World reached the common man by a variety of news and entertainment features and was a power in the Democratic Party because of its liberalism and its crusades against big business and government corruption. Cobb's hard-hitting editorials were widely read and reprinted.

At the 1912 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Cobb was a leader in making Woodrow Wilson, the intellectual Governor of New Jersey, the Democratic nominee for president. Cobb and Wilson became lifelong allies and personal friends.

Relations with Pulitzer

Cobb was a fiercely independent journalist who resisted Pulitzer's attempts to "run the office" from his home. However the elder man might try, he simply could not keep from meddling with Cobb's work. Time after time they battled, often with heated language. While they found common ground in their support of Woodrow Wilson as president, they disagreed on many other issues. Pulitzer wrote a precisely worded resignation when his son Ralph Pulitzer took over administrative responsibility in 1907, which was printed in every New York paper except The World. Pulitzer raged at the insult, but slowly began to respect Cobb's editorials and independent spirit. Exchanges, commentaries, and messages between them increased. The good rapport between the two was based largely on Cobb's flexibility. In May 1908, Cobb and Pulitzer met to outline plans for a consistent editorial policy. However, the editorial policy did waver on occasion. Renewed battles broke out over the most trivial matters. Pulitzer's demands for editorials on contemporary breaking news led to overwork by Cobb. Pulitzer revealed concern by sending him on a six-week tour of Europe to restore his spirit. Pulitzer died shortly after Cobb's return (in October 1911); then Cobb published Pulitzer's beautifully written resignation. Cobb retained the editorial policies he had shared with Pulitzer until he died of cancer in 1923.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Driscoll, Charles B. (March 23, 1938). "New York Day by Day". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  3. ^ "Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  4. ^ Louis M. Starr, "Joseph Pulitzer and his most 'indegoddampendent' editor", American Heritage, June 1968, Vol. 19 Issue 4, pp. 18-85.

Further reading

  • Brian, Denis. Pulitzer: A Life (2001) online edition
  • Cobb, Frank I. Cobb of "The World" (E. P. Dutton, 1924); re-issued as Cobb of "The World": a leader of liberalism, compiled from his editorial articles and public addresses, by John L. Heaton (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971), edited by John L. Heaton — Cobb's greatest editorials with an opening chapter, "Cobb, The Man"
  • Morris, James McGrath. Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power (2010)

External links

1924 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1924.

Hubbard Cobb

Hubbard Cobb (August 5, 1917 – September 27, 2006) was an American writer. A newspaper and radio personality, he was also the editor of The American Home and Ladies' Home Journal and the author of a number of books, including his 1950 debut Your Dream Home: How to Build It For Less Than $3500, The Amateur Builder's Handbook and 1970's The Dream House Encyclopedia. Cited as "an authority on home improvement and building", he was widely known in the Do it yourself publishing field, with a column running from the 1940s through the 1960s. He also spoke out about the unrealistic pressures on American women of the 1960s.A native of New York City, Cobb was the son of Frank I. Cobb and Margaret Ayer Cobb. Both of his parents were writers. His father was a well-known columnist, editor of New York World.

Joseph Pulitzer

Joseph John Pulitzer (; Hungarian: [ˈpulit͡sɛr]; born József Pulitzer; April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911) was a newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World. He became a leading national figure in the Democratic Party and was elected congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption, and helped keep the Statue of Liberty in New York.

In the 1890s the fierce competition between his World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal caused both to develop the techniques of yellow journalism, which won over readers with sensationalism, sex, crime and graphic horrors. The wide appeal reached a million copies a day and opened the way to mass-circulation newspapers that depended on advertising revenue (rather than cover price or political party subsidies) and appealed to readers with multiple forms of news, gossip, entertainment and advertising.

Today, his name is best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established in 1917 as a result of his endowment to Columbia University. The prizes are given annually to recognize and reward excellence in American journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music and drama. Pulitzer founded the Columbia School of Journalism by his philanthropic bequest; it opened in 1912.

Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards

The Pulitzer Prize jury has the option of awarding special citations and awards where they consider necessary. Since 1918, forty-four such special citations and awards have been given. The awards are sixteen journalism awards, twelve letters awards, fourteen music awards, and five service awards. Prizes for the award vary. The Pulitzer Foundation has stated that the Special Citations given to George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington were in response to criticism for the failure of the Foundation to cite the four.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.