Paul Block

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Paul Block
Born November 2, 1877
East Prussia
Died June 23, 1941(1941-06-23) (aged 63)
United States
Nationality United States
Known for Newspaper publisher
Spouse(s) Dina Wallach
Children William Block
Paul Block, Jr.

Paul Block (November 2, 1877 - June 23, 1941) was president of Paul Block and Associates (later Block Communications) and publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade.[1]


Block was born to a poor Lithuanian Jewish family in East Prussia.[1][2] In 1885, his parents immigrated to Elmira, New York where his father worked as a ragpicker.[2] Block attended Elmira public schools[1] 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.[2] In 1900, he left the Elmira Telegram and formed his own advertising rep firm which sold national advertising for client newspapers, Block Communications,[3] 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[2] (Block's mistress Marion Davies would become Hearst's mistress and Block would later serve as Hearst's executor)[2] as well as purchasing several papers outright beginning with the Newark Star-Eagle and the Detroit Journal.[2] In 1926, he acquired the Toledo Blade and in 1927, he created the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[4] He went on to own 14 papers.[2]

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.[2] Block also played a key role in advancing the career of the Franklin D. Roosevelt by supporting his 1928 campaign for governor.[2]


Block was active in Jewish philanthropy and headed the 1931 campaign of the New York Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Dina Wallach;[5][6] they had two sons:[1] William Block and Paul Block, Jr. Block died of cancer in 1941;[2] funeral services were held at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.[1]


External links[edit]