July 20, 2015

Top Example of the Power of Underdogs

History, current events, and the Bible are full of examples of winning against the odds:
  • Athletes overcome physical limitations.
  • Poor immigrants become billionaire entrepreneurs who revolutionize their industries.
  • David kills Goliath.
  • Musicians perform outside the box and make their own kind of career.
  • Daniel is saved from the lion’s den.
  • Former victims of abuse become world-renown authors and speakers.

American Genius

This current miniseries on National Geographic Channel showcases examples of brilliant underdogs winning throughout history.  One of the latest episodes was Hearst vs. Pulitzer.

Joseph Pulitzer—(Yes, THAT Joseph Pulitzer) He is the namesake of the highest honor in journalism: the Pulitzer Prize. He was an impoverished Hungarian immigrant. He revolutionized the newspaper industry by making it more accessible to the common man. By the late 1800’s, he “owned” the newspaper industry in New York City.

William Randolph Hearst—He was the rich, pampered son of a mining tycoon. His first newspaper was given to him by his father. It was located in San Francisco, California. However, that wasn’t good enough for him. He idolized Pulitzer and his methods. He wanted in on the action.

Eventually, Hearst moved to New York, poached Pulitzer’s top employees, and became a threat to the top man’s empire. Pulitzer was quickly running out of money. Unlike Hearst, he didn’t have a family fortune to back him up.

The two giants started a press war that incited the American public into supporting the Spanish-American War. It was the birth of the ridiculously powerful force that is the media as we know it today.

Toppling the Tycoons

What brought the two men to reality—finally? What was the hurricane force that, literally, brought the newspaper industry to a temporary halt? 5,000 impoverished pre-teen and teen street boys, the “newsies”.  

These street vendors of newspapers rioted when the two journalism tycoons raised the wholesale cost of newspapers. They closed down bridges and streets.  Pulitzer and Hearst were forced to reach a compromise in order to keep their businesses flourishing.

My Conclusion

How have you been a victorious underdog?

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