Mosse was born in Grätz, Grand Duchy of Posen, as the son of Dr. Markus Moses, a noted physician. He began his career as an apprentice in the book-printing establishment of Merzbach at Posen, publisher of the Ostdeutsche Zeitung, and mastered the technique of printing in Leipzig, Berlin, and other cities. Advertising was not at all developed in Germany at that time, and it was in this direction that Mosse at the age of twenty-four saw his opportunity. He organized an advertising agency at Berlin, which finally extended itself to most of the larger cities of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. His success was phenomenal. It was through his initiative that advertising supplements were added to Kladderadatsch, Fliegende Blätter, Gartenlaube, Über Land und Meer, and other journals. Mosse is associated with the publication of the Berliner Tageblatt (since 1870), the Deutsches Montagsblatt (1877–88), the Deutsches Reichsblatt (1881–94), the Berliner Morgenzeitung (since 1889), the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums (from 1890–1922), and the C.V.-Zeitung. Organ des Central-Vereins deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (since 1922). Among other publications of his were the Bäder Almanach (since 1882) and the Deutsches Reichsadressbuch (established in 1897). His printing establishment, founded in 1872, was one of the largest of its kind.
Mosse was also known for his philanthropic work. In 1892 he established a fund (Unterstützungskasse) for his employees (numbering more than 500) with a capital of 100,000 marks, and in 1895 another fund of 1,000,000 marks for the same purpose. He built a hospital in his native town, Grätz, founded an educational institution for 100 children in Wilmersdorf near Berlin with an endowment of about 3,000,000 marks, aided in the foundation of the Emperor and Empress Frederick Hospital in Berlin, and contributed liberally toward various literary and artistic endeavors. He represented the Jewish community of Berlin for ten years, and represented the Reform congregation there from 1904. One of his six brothers, Emil Mosse, became his business partner in 1884, while another Albert Mosse, achieved prominence as a jurist.
Mosse is buried in the Weissensee Cemetery, Berlin.
- Adolph Kohut, Berühmte Israelitische Männer und Frauen, ii.389-394
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore Singer, Isidor Warsaw (1901–1906). "Rudolf Mosse". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.