Joseph Pulitzer

A portrait of Joseph Pulitzer.
A portrait of Joseph Pulitzer.

National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM

When the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty ran out of funds for the Statue's pedestal in 1884, newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer came to the rescue. Through urging the American public to donate money towards the pedestal in his newspaper New York World, Pulitzer raised over $100,000 in six months- more than enough money to ensure the pedestal's completion. As an article published in New York World on March 16, 1885 argued,

We must raise the money! The World is the people's paper, and now it appeals to the people to come forward and raise the money. The $250,000 that the making of the Statue cost was paid in by the masses of the French people- by the working men, the tradesmen, the shop girls, the artisans- by all, irrespective of class or condition. Let us respond in like manner. Let us not wait for the millionaires to give us this money. It is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America.

The article's appeal was so popular that by August 11, 1885, the World collected over $100,000 in donations - most donations being about $1 or less. Roughly 125,000 people contributed to the completion of the pedestal thanks to Pulitzer's crusade. In thanks, the World published the names of each person who made a contribution (no matter its size), an act that also advanced the sales of Pulitzer's newspaper. Pulitzer died on October 29, 1911.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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