The Daily Compass

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The Daily Compass
A front page, date unknown
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Ted Thackrey
PublisherTed Thackrey
Founded1949 (1949)
Ceased publication1952

The Daily Compass was an American leftist newspaper in New York City, New York, published from May 16, 1949, through November 3, 1952.[1] It is best known for its columns by the investigative journalist I. F. Stone.

Its Online Computer Library Center record number is OCLC 09316051.[2]

Publication history[edit]

The Daily Compass, which included the weekend Sunday Compass, was a 1949-1952 successor to the leftist New York City newspaper PM, published from June 1940 to June 22, 1948, and that paper's first successor, the New York Star, published from June 23, 1948, to January 28, 1949.

Ted Thackrey — the features editor of the New York Post before marrying Post owner Dorothy Schiff in 1943, after which the two became co-publishers/co-editors[3] — had become solo publisher of the Post, at the behest of his wife, for a disastrous three months.[3] He then "left with a following of firebrand writers to start his own paper",[3] buying the building and physical plant at which PM and the Star had been published,[4] at Duane Street and Hudson Street in Manhattan. With private financing, he founded The Daily Compass as its publisher and president.[5] The paper began publishing on May 16, 1949,[5] and ceased publication in November 1952.[6]

The investigative journalist I. F. Stone wrote a column six days a week.[4] Jazz club impresario Art D'Lugoff, then spelling his name Art Dlugoff, was a copy boy at the paper,[7] as was future Newsday sports writer Stan Isaacs.[8] Future magazine editor Clay Felker was a sportswriter for the paper. The city editor / managing editor, Tom O'Connor, who appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee in May 1952 without testifying or naming others, died of a heart attack at The Daily Compass offices while watching a televised broadcast of the Democratic National Convention on July 24, 1952.[9]

Financing and distribution[edit]

The Daily Compass was chiefly financed through the Chicago, Illinois, philanthropist Anita McCormick Blaine,[5] the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company heiress,[10] who furnished either $300,000[11] or $2 million[10] for the start-up (sources differ). She was introduced to Thackrey in late April 1949 by a mutual friend who had intended to put up half the money. When the friend backed out, Blaine invested the whole amount in return for all the preferred stock; Thackrey held 51% of the common stock, and control.[10]

Blaine said at the time, "My purpose is to help create a better world state. You have only to think of the need for this thing ... look at the press of the world today...."[10]

The paper was distributed by the Metropolitan News Company and some 16 other distributors.[5] William Peyton Marin was the company treasurer. Bernard Goldstein, the assistant treasurer and controller of the New York Star, was the assistant treasurer.[5] Following the company's dissolution, its books and records were stored at the AAAAAA American City Wide Express Service at 1135 Tiffany Street, The Bronx, for two to three years before prepaid funds ran out and the documents were scheduled to be destroyed.[5]


After The Daily Compass ceased publication, Thackrey joined the public relations firm Ruder Finn.[5] In 1959, Thackrey and Goldstein testified at the U.S. Senate's "Hearings Before the Select Committee in Improper Activities on the Labor or Management Field", which investigated alleged improprieties by the newspaper deliverers union and forcible payoffs in order to ensure Compass distribution.[5]


Archives of The Daily Compass (OCLC 09316051) are stored at the New York State Library and at Sarah Lawrence College.[2]


  1. ^ New York Times, December 10, 2000.
  2. ^ a b "New York County (NY) Newspapers on Microfilm and Paper at All NYS Locations", New York State Library
  3. ^ a b c Sheehy, Gail. "The Life of the Most Powerful Woman in New York", New York Magazine, December 10, 1973
  4. ^ a b "Writings by I.F. Stone: The Compass, The Website of I. F. Stone. WebCitation archive.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Archive of Hearings Before the Select Committee in Improper Activities on the Labor or Management Field, May 5–8, 1959. WebCitation archive.
  6. ^ Stone, I.F. The Best of I.F. Stone (PublicAffairs, 2007), "Prologue: A Word About Myself", p. 3. ISBN 1-58648-507-5, ISBN 978-1-58648-507-8
  7. ^ Isaacs, Stan. "A Tribute to Art D'Lugoff: Don't Forget the Apostrophe",, December 21, 2009. WebCitation archive.
  8. ^ Isaacs, Stan. "The 1969 Chronicles: A Sports Writer's Notes", Introduction. WebCitation archive. (Note: On some browsers, page text is white-on-white and may require blocking to be visible)
  9. ^ Reporters and Writers: Tom O'Connor entry at Reporting Civil Rights: The LOA Anthology. WebCitation archive.
  10. ^ a b c d "The Press: Angel in the Wings" Time, May 16, 1949
  11. ^ "Anita McCormick Blaine". Internet Accuracy Project, which confirms the spelling of her variously transcribed last name. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011.

External links[edit]