Moses "Moe" Louis Annenberg (February 11, 1877 – July 20, 1942) was a Jewish American newspaper publisher, who purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer, the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States. in 1936. The Inquirer has the sixteenth largest average weekday U.S. newspaper circulation, and has won eighteen Pulitzer Prizes.
Born in East Prussia (German Empire) in 1877 to a Jewish family he left Germany and immigrated to Chicago in 1900. Annenberg began his career as a Chicago newspaper salesman at the Chicago Tribune, then, for the Hearst Corporation. He eventually built a fortune and the successful publishing company that became Triangle Publications, Inc. During the Roosevelt administration, he was indicted for tax evasion and, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to two years; he died in prison.
Several sources have documented his links to organized crime, such as his involvement in Chicago's "Circulation Wars" and his later ownership of the National Racing Wire, though it is widely under reported.
Annenberg was indicted on August 11, 1939 for income tax evasion for the years 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936 totaling $3,258,809.97 in income taxes evaded. On April 4, 1940 Annenberg plead guilty to the 1936 income tax evasion count in the indictment which charged him with evading $1,217,296 in taxes. Judge James Herbert Wilkerson, the same judge who previously sentenced Alphonse Capone, sentenced Annenberg to three years in prison and a fine of $8,000,000 "the largest single tax fraud penalty in history" at the time.
He and his wife, Sadie Cecillia née Freedman (1879-1965) were the parents of one son, the publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg and seven daughters; Diana Annenberg (1900-1905), Esther “Aye” Annenberg Simon Levee (1901-1992), Janet Annenberg Hooker (1904-1997), Enid Annenberg Haupt (1906-2005)), Lita Annenberg Hazen (1909-1985), Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall (1911-2005), and Harriet Beatrice Annenberg Ames Aronson (1914-1976).
- Ranch A, Annenberg's ranch in eastern Wyoming, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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- Wilkinson, Gerry. "The History of the Philadelphia Inquirer". Philadelphia Press Association. Retrieved 2006-05-27.
- "Top 100 Newspapers US Daily Newspapers" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Enid A Haupt Philanthropist keen on gardens and youth" "The Guardian",1 Nov 2005 Haupt obituary in the Guardian
- The History of the Mafia in the US, 2006
- The Art of the Steal, 2009
- J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and His Secrets, 2001.
- Irey, Elmer L. & Slocum, William J. The Tax Dodgers. New York: Greenberg 1948.
- Folsom, Robert G. The Money Trail: how Elmer Irey and his T-Men brought down America's criminal elite. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books 2010.
- Moses Annenberg's connection to Chicago's organized crime: Part 2 of 3
- Moses Annenberg's connection to Chicago's organized crime: Part 3 of 3
- Cooney, John E. The Annenbergs. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982.
- Fried, Albert. The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. ISBN 0-231-09683-6
- Johnson, Curt and R. Craig Sautter. The Wicked City: Chicago from Kenna to Capone. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998. ISBN 0-306-80821-8
- Reppetto, Thomas A. American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2004. ISBN 0-8050-7798-7
- Schatzberg, Rufus, Robert J.Kelly and Ko-lin Chin, ed. Handbook of Organized Crime in the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994. ISBN 0-313-28366-4
- Winter-Berger, Robert N. The Washington Pay-Off: An Insider's View of Corruption in Government. New York: Dell Publishing, 1972.