Paul Block

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Paul Block
Born November 2, 1875
Königsberg, East Prussia
Died June 22, 1941(1941-06-22) (aged 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality United States
Known for Newspaper publisher
Spouse(s) Dina Wallach
Children William Block
Paul Block Jr.

Paul Block (November 2, 1875 – June 22, 1941) was president of Paul Block and Associates (later Block Communications) and publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade.[1]


Block was born on November 2, 1875 to a poor Lithuanian Jewish family in Königsberg, East Prussia.[2] In 1885, his parents immigrated to Elmira, New York, where his father worked as a ragpicker.[3] Block attended Elmira public schools[1] and at the age of 10, he worked as a part-time newsboy and office messenger with Harry Brooks, the founder of the Elmira Telegram, where he learned all aspects of the newspaper business.[3] In 1900, he left the Elmira Telegram and formed his own advertising rep firm which sold national advertising for client newspapers, Block Communications,[4] and is credited with pioneering the concept of national news advertising. He developed a close friendship and business relationship with William Randolph Hearst frequently serving as a frontman for Hearst's newspaper acquisitions[3] (Block's mistress Marion Davies would become Hearst's mistress and Block would later serve as Hearst's executor)[3] as well as purchasing several papers outright beginning with the Newark Star-Eagle and the Detroit Journal.[3] In 1926, he acquired the Toledo Blade and in 1927, he created the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[5] He went on to own 14 papers.[3]

Block was a close friend of New York City mayor Jimmy Walker (often letting Walker use his apartment for liaisons with his mistress Ziegfeld Follies dancer Betty Compton) and president Calvin Coolidge.[3] Block also played a key role in advancing the career of the Franklin D. Roosevelt by supporting his 1928 campaign for governor.[3]


Block was active in Jewish philanthropy and headed the 1931 campaign of the New York Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.[1]

Personal life

He was married to Dina Wallach;[6][7] they had two sons:[1] William Block and Paul Block Jr. Block died of cancer in 1941;[3] funeral services were held at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Jewish Journal: "Services Held for Paul Block, Famous Publisher" June 24, 1941
  2. ^ Brady, Frank (2001). The Publisher: Paul Block: A Life of Friendship, Power and Politics. University Press of America. pp. xiii, xxiii. (Brady rejects Block's claim of having been born in Elmira, New York in 1877.)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Toledo Blade: "Paul Block: Story of success" BY JACK LESSENBERRY January 9, 2013
  4. ^ Block Communications Website Archived 2015-02-08 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved December 1, 2014
  5. ^ American Journalism Review: "Blocked Out - The Block family shutters its newspapers’ Washington bureau" by Jodi Enda April / May 2006
  6. ^ Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Obituary: William Block / Longtime publisher of Post-Gazette dies - Unassuming leader of 60 years with wide interests in arts, community" by Michael McGough and James O'Toole June 21, 2005
  7. ^ New York Times: "Dina Wallach Block, 98; Co-Owner of Newspaper" June 14, 1981

External links

  • image of Paul Block
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