William R. Hearst
Beginning with the San Francisco Examiner in 1887, Hearst used aggressive acquisition techniques to build a publishing empire. His acquisition of the New York Journal in 1895 set the stage for fierce competition with cross-town rival Joseph Pulitzer. Hearst's explicit use of "yellow journalism" enabled him to capitalize on the public's thirst for exaggerated stories, and in the process, his circulation numbers soared. Though he was reviled as a journalist, Hearst built the largest publishing conglomerate in the United States in the 1930s.