He came to the United States in 1864 and joined a Federal cavalry regiment, serving till the end of the Civil War; then became a reporter on the ‘Westliche Post,’ which Carl Schurz had made the leading German newspaper in Saint Louis. Beginning upon the lowest round of a journalist's career, and at first enduring considerable hardship, he rapidly won recognition and rose to the position of managing editor and chief proprietor of the paper. In the meantime he had acquired a knowledge of law, had been admitted to practice and been active in politics in the Republican ranks.
He was elected to the Missouri legislature in 1869, was a delegate to the convention of the Liberal Republican party at Cincinnati, which nominated Horace Greeley for President, then became a Democrat and in 1874 was a member of the Missouri State constitutional covention. In 1876-77 he was Washington correspondent for the New York Sun, and in 1878 bought the Saint Louis Dispatch and united it with the Evening Post as the Post-Dispatch. In 1883 he purchased the New York World, soon building up a large circulation. He was elected to Congress in New York in 1885-87 but resigned after a few months. In 1887 his health was broken, due to overwork, and was followed by a steady loss of eyesight until he became totally blind.
Mr. Pulitzer's career as an editor was marked by great ability and genius. In August, 1903, announcement was made of the endowment of a College of Journalism by him at Columbia University. He also endowed several scholarships at Columbia College and gave largely to other educational and charitable causes.
Encyclopedia Americana, 1920