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Chicago Herald American

Magazines & Periodicals

The Chicago American, an afternoon newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois under various names until 1974, was the last full flowering of the aggressive journalistic tradition depicted in the play and movie The Front Page.

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The Chicago American, an afternoon newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois under various names until 1974, was the last full flowering of the aggressive journalistic tradition depicted in the play and movie The Front Page.

Its first edition came out on the Fourth of July, 1900 as Hearst’s Chicago American. Its companion Morning American made its debut in 1902 (Examiner as the Sunday edition) and was replaced by the Examiner in 1907. James Keeley bought the Chicago Record-Herald and Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1914, merging them into a single newspaper known as the Herald. William Randolph Hearst purchased the paper from Keeley in 1918.

Under pressure from his lenders, Hearst consolidated the American and the Herald-Examiner in 1939. It continued as the Chicago Herald-American until 1953 when it became the Chicago American. The American was bought by the Chicago Tribune in 1956, and was renamed as Chicago's American in 1959.

As with many other afternoon dailies, the paper suffered in postwar years from declining circulation figures caused in part by television news and in part by population shifts from city to suburbs. The paper continued as an afternoon broadsheet until 1969 when the Tribune converted the paper to the tabloid-format Chicago Today. Measures to bolster the paper were unsuccessful, and Chicago Today published its final issue on September 13, 1974. The Chicago Tribune inherited many of the Today's writers and staff and became a 24-hour operation.

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