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.

In 1917, after his death, the U.S. declared war on Germany. In 1918 George Sylvester Viereck told federal officials that in 1915 Ridder planned a to purchase a newspaper on behalf of propaganda for the German government. Ridder's son said he was very sick at the time and did no such planning. There was no such purchase.[3]

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.

Herman Ridder Junior High School (Public School 98) in the Bronx was named in his honor in 1931.[4]


  1. ^ Joseph, P. McKerns ed., Biographical Dictionary of American Journalism. (1989) pp 588-90
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ see"VIERECK TESTIMONY FALSE, RIDDER SAYS: Denies the Late Herman Ridder Took Part in Conference with German Propagandist. BERNADE NOT THERE EITHER Ev-Governor Colquitt Also Declares Statements of Fatherland Editor Were Not Founded on Fact" New York Times 13 Aug 1918 p 11
  4. ^ Bradley, Betsy (December 11, 1990). "Herman Ridder Junior High School (Public School 98)" (PDF). Landmarks Preservation Commission. 


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