Herman Ridder

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Herman Ridder
Herman Ridder.jpg
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Herman Ridder (March 5, 1851 – November 1, 1915) was an American newspaper publisher and editor.[1]


Ridder was born in New York City, of German Catholic parents. Because of his parents' financial difficulties, Ridder had to leave school at age 11.[2] He had little education, and was an insurance salesman.

In 1878 he established the Katholisches Volksblatt, and married Mary C. Amend in 1880. He founded the Catholic News in 1886, later continued by his brother Henry Ridder. In 1890 he became trustee and manager, and in 1907 president of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, then the largest and most influential daily paper printed in the German language in the United States.

During the visit of Prince Henry of Prussia in February 1903, Ridder arranged a dinner in Henry's honor. In 1908 he was treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, where he insisted on campaign finance transparency.[2] He was an official of several important financial institutions.

Ridder came into conflict with the Federal authorities following the outbreak of World War I for an alleged pro-German campaign that he was charged with having carried on in his newspapers.[according to whom?] He included articles in his newspaper written from a German perspective, and some have speculated that anti-German sentiment and prejudice may have caused this conflict.[2]

He died insolvent, having lost his means with the failure of the International Typesetting Machine Company at the start of World War I. Friends and supporters of Ridder assumed the debts of his publishing enterprise, and the Staats-Zeitung continued under the joint management of his sons, Bernard H. Ridder and Victor F. Ridder.


  1. ^ Joseph, P. McKerns ed., Biographical Dictionary of American Journalism. (1989) pp 588-90
  2. ^ a b c Barber, Marian J. "Herman Ridder." In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 2, edited by William J. Hausman. German Historical Institute. Last modified September 30, 2015.


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