SCRIPPS, EDWARD WILLIS (18 June 1854-12 Mar. 1926), founder of the CLEVELAND PRESS, was born near Rushville, Ill., son of James M. and Julia Osborne Scripps. He helped his brother James start the Detroit News in 1873. Scripps came to Cleveland in 1878, starting the Penny Press on 2 Nov. with his cousin, John Scripps Sweeney, as business manager; 60% of the $10,000 capital was provided by his brothers James and George in Detroit. Scripps was editor for 16 months, when he left Cleveland to start the St. Louis Evening Chronicle. A year later he returned to Cleveland for 6 months before leaving for Europe. Scripps's brief Cleveland residence was marked by a major confrontation with HENRY CHISHOLM. When a Press reporter mistakenly identified Chisholm's son as a participant in a street brawl, Chisholm instigated an attack on the reporter by his employees and started civil and criminal proceedings against Scripps and the Press. Scripps retaliated, preparing a special edition of the Press headed "Chisholm's Infamy" (referring to the attack on his reporter), running a condensed version of the same daily until he won the criminal libel suit and Chisholm dropped the libel suit and paid $5,000 damages to the reporter. Chisholm's subsequent death was attributed partly to the Press's attacks.
After 1881, Scripps only spent about 30 total days in Cleveland while founding and running the other papers that eventually merged into the Scripps-Howard organization. Scripps married Nackie Holtsinger on 5 Oct. 1885. They had 6 children: James George, John Paul, Edward Willis, Jr., Robert Paine, Dolla Blair, and Nackey. Scripps retired from active business to San Diego in 1890. He died on his yacht "Ohio" in Monrovia Bay, Liberia.
Gardner, Gilson. Lusty Scripps: The Life of E.W. Scripps (1932).
Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 01:33:14 PM
Cochran, N.D. E.W. Scripps (1933).
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