Moses Annenberg

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Moses Annenberg
Moses Louis Annenberg

February 11, 1877
DiedJuly 20, 1942(1942-07-20) (aged 65)
SpouseSadie Cecilia (Friedman)
Children8, including Janet, Enid, and Walter
RelativesWallis Annenberg (granddaughter)

Moses Louis Annenberg (February 11, 1877 – July 20, 1942) was an American newspaper publisher, who purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer, the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States[1] in 1936. The Inquirer has the sixteenth-largest average weekday U.S. newspaper circulation, and has won eighteen Pulitzer Prizes.[2] He was the father of TV Guide creator Walter Annenberg.

Early life[edit]

Moses Louis Annenberg was born in Kalwischen, East Prussia (German Empire) in 1877 to a Lithuanian Jewish family. He left Germany and immigrated to Chicago in 1900.[3]


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., owning, among other publications, the Daily Racing Form.[citation needed] Someone seems to have erased all mention of his bookie business.

During the Roosevelt administration, he was indicted for tax evasion 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.[4][page needed] On April 4, 1940, Annenberg pleaded guilty to the 1936 income tax evasion count in the indictment that charged him with evading $1.2 million in taxes ($25.7 million today).[5][page needed]

Judge James Herbert Wilkerson, the same judge who previously sentenced Al Capone, sentenced Annenberg to three years in prison and a fine of $8.0 million ($167.1 million today) "the largest single tax fraud penalty in history" at the time.[5]

Personal life, death, and legacy[edit]

Annenberg married Sadie Cecillia Freedman (1879–1965). They had one son, the publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg, and seven daughters;[6] Diana Annenberg (1900–1905), Esther Annenberg Simon Levee (1901–1992), Janet Annenberg Kahn Neff Hooker (1904–1997),[7] Enid Annenberg Haupt (1906–2005),[8] Lita Annenberg Hazen (1909–1985),[9] Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall (1911–2005),[10] and Harriet Beatrice Annenberg Ames Aronson (1914–1976).

Annenberg was released from Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary prison on June 3, 1942,[11] and died in the Mayo Clinic on July 20, 1942, after having surgery for a brain tumor.[12] His Ranch A in eastern Wyoming is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. ^ Wilkinson, Gerry. "The History of the Philadelphia Inquirer". Philadelphia Press Association. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
  2. ^ "Top 100 Newspapers US Daily Newspapers" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  3. ^ "Philanthropist Walter Annenberg Dies at 94 | PND | Foundation Center". Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Irey, Elmer L. (1948). Slocum, William J. (ed.). The Tax Dodgers. New York: Greenberg. ASIN B002DIUAAW.
  5. ^ a b Folsom, Robert G (2010). The Money Trail: how Elmer Irey and his T-Men brought down America's criminal elite. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. ISBN 978-1597974882.
  6. ^ "Descendants of Israel Annenberg". David Annenberg and Carole Freeman Family History and Genealogy Website.
  7. ^ Enid Nemy (December 16, 1997). "Janet A. Hooker, Philanthropist, Dies at 93". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Reed, Christopher (November 1, 2005). "Enid A Haupt: Philanthropist keen on gardens and youth". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Nemy, Enid (October 3, 1995). "Lita Hazen, Patron of Sciences, Dies at 85". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Wolfgang Saxon (May 1, 2005). "Evelyn A. Hall, 93, Arts Patron, Dies". The New York Times.
  11. ^ [Moses Annenberg Released from Prison, The Journal Times, Racine, Wisconsin, June 3, 1942]
  12. ^ [Moses Annenberg, Immigrant Boy Who Made Fortune, Dies, The Daily Courier, Connellsville Pennsylvania, July 21, 1942]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]