Columbians Ahead of Their Time
Arthur Hays Sulzberger

Arthur Hays Sulzberger

"We tell the public which way the cat is jumping. The public will take care of the cat."

Arthur Hays Sulzberger (1891–1968)
Publisher
Columbia College 1913
Medal (hon.) 1934, LLD (hon.) 1959

A giant of American newspaper publishing, Arthur H. Sulzberger oversaw the growth of the New York Times in size and prestige in the mid-twentieth century. It was on his watch as publisher and president from 1935 to 1961 that daily circulation rose from 465,000 to 713,000 and Sunday circulation from 745,000 to 1.4 million. Over that same period, the staff more than doubled, reaching 5,200; advertising linage grew from 19 million to 62 million column inches per year, and gross income increased almost sevenfold, reaching 117 million dollars. Sulzberger joined the Times in 1918, a year after he wed Iphigene Ochs (Barnard 1914), the only child of publisher Adolph Ochs. He served the newspaper in various capacities and assumed company leadership after his father-in-law's death in 1935. It was Sulzberger who bought radio station WQXR, twice expanded the newspaper's presses, printed editions in Europe and California, and pushed for the development of a superior method of transmitting photographs by wire. Throughout his time as publisher, he was a prominent advocate for democracy and freedom of the press, abroad and at home. With Iphigene's assistance, he also secured the family's control of the newspaper for years to come: He was succeeded as publisher first by a son-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, in 1961, and then two years later by his son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger (Columbia College 1951).

Sulzberger graduated from Columbia College in 1913, and together with Iphigene would prove a longtime patron of both Columbia and Barnard. In 1929, he founded Columbia's original Jewish Advisory Board, and served on the board of what became Columbia-Barnard Hillel for many years. He served as a University trustee from 1944 to 1959, and today is remembered with a floor at the journalism school. Iphigene Sulzberger, too, served as a trustee for many years, at Barnard, helping to raise money to build Lehman Hall and Wollman Library. Barnard's Sulzberger Hall honors her.

Read more about Sulzberger in the Columbia Encyclopedia.


SPEECH AT COLBY

Sulzberger addressed the Maine college in 1956.

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