Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 512

Sort of in memory of that, I took my children, all four of them, and my wife, down to Chattanooga just this past year, 1996, to introduce them to some of the Chattanooga landmarks and so forth, involving my father as mayor of Chattanooga just a century ago. It was a little pilgrimage.

In any case, my father was an important influence on my life. But in connection with his relationship to his brother: he was always closely associated with Adolph, and it was due to Adolph's influence that my father quit the political arena, because, as I understood it, Adolph felt that he shouldn't be both a newspaper man and be involved in politics at the same time. And so although he was a rising light in political life in Tennessee after he'd finished his two terms as mayor, very soon after that he left politics altogether and remained a newspaper man, setting up at the Paris Exposition of 1900 an entire daily edition of the New York Times, which ran right through that summer of 1900 as a newspaper, daily newspaper, printed on the grounds of the Fair. He had a marvelous time and he did extremely well in an impossibly difficult job, and eventually won the Legion of Honor from the French government in recognition of what he had done.

After he came back from Paris, he became associated with Adolph again in Philadelphia. Adolph was always the first member of this team. My father came back and got involved in papers in Philadelphia that Adolph had acquired: first as general manager of the Philadelphia Times and the next year, 1902, became editor and publisher of the Public Ledger, which he turned into the leading newspaper in Philadelphia, with almost as much prestige in Philadelphia as the New York Times was acquiring in New York under Adolph.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help