David Nasaw’s magnificent, definitive biography of William Randolph Hearst is based on newly released private and business papers and interviews.
For the first time, documentation of Hearst’s interactions with Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, and every American president from Grover Cleveland to Franklin Roosevelt, as well as with movie giants Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Irving Thalberg, completes the picture of this colossal American.
Hearst, known to his staff as the Chief, was a man of prodigious appetites. By the 1930s, he controlled the largest publishing empire in the country, including twenty-eight newspapers, the Cosmopolitan Picture Studio, radio stations, and thirteen magazines. In Nasaw’s portrait, questions about Hearst’s relationships are addressed, including those about his mistress in his Harvard days, his legal wife, Millicent, ; and Marion Davies, his companion until death.
Recently discovered correspondence with the architect of Hearst’s world-famous estate, San Simeon, is augmented by taped interviews with the people who worked there shed light on the private life of a very public man.