|Born||November 2, 1877
|Died||June 23, 1941
|Known for||Newspaper publisher|
Paul Block, Jr.
Block was born to a poor Lithuanian Jewish family in East Prussia. In 1885, his parents immigrated to Elmira, New York where his father worked as a ragpicker. Block attended Elmira public schools and at the age of 10, he worked as a part-time newsboy and office messenger with Harry Brooks, the founder of the Elmira Telegram, where he learned all aspects of the newspaper business. In 1900, he left the Elmira Telegram and formed his own advertising rep firm which sold national advertising for client newspapers, Block Communications, and is credited with pioneering the concept of national news advertising. He developed a close friendship and business relationship with William Randolph Hearst frequently serving as a frontman for Hearst's newspaper acquisitions (Block's mistress Marion Davies would become Hearst's mistress and Block would later serve as Hearst's executor) as well as purchasing several papers outright beginning with the Newark Star-Eagle and the Detroit Journal. In 1926, he acquired the Toledo Blade and in 1927, he created the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He went on to own 14 papers.
Block was a close friend of New York City mayor Jimmy Walker (often letting Walker use his apartment for liaisons with his mistress Ziegfeld Follies dancer Betty Compton) and president Calvin Coolidge. Block also played a key role in advancing the career of the Franklin D. Roosevelt by supporting his 1928 campaign for governor.
Block was active in Jewish philanthropy and headed the 1931 campaign of the New York Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.
- Jewish Journal: "Services Held for Paul Block, Famous Publisher" June 24, 1941
- Toledo Blade: "Paul Block: Story of success" BY JACK LESSENBERRY January 9, 2013
- Block Communications Website retrieved December 1, 2014
- American Journalism Review: "Blocked Out - The Block family shutters its newspapers’ Washington bureau" by Jodi Enda April / May 2006
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Obituary: William Block / Longtime publisher of Post-Gazette dies - Unassuming leader of 60 years with wide interests in arts, community" by Michael McGough and James O'Toole June 21, 2005
- New York Times: "Dina Wallach Block, 98; Co-Owner of Newspaper" June 14, 1981