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Founded in 1919, the New York Daily News became one of the largest newspapers in the world in terms of circulation at its peak in 1947. The tabloid specialized in sensational news, investigative journalism and celebrity gossip. Its editorial philosophy emphasized the need for transparency in government and society. It also championed the advancement of women, African-Americans and other minorities. Its editorial and advertising departments worked closely together to shape public opinion and advance political agendas.
The newspaper’s headquarters was located in a neo-Gothic building at 450 West 33rd Street that straddled the railroad tracks going into Pennsylvania Station. Its original office space was designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead & White. The building was later expanded to include a large basement for storage and printing presses.
In the 1920s, the Daily News found abundant subject matter to cover and was a leader in promoting censorship and social reform. It was an early user of the Associated Press wirephoto service and developed its own staff of photographers. Its front page was known for its provocative, eye-catching headlines such as “Daily News: RUTH SNYDER DEAD” after the woman was electrocuted in the electric chair for murder.
As the paper evolved, its editorial and advertising departments worked more closely together to shape public opinion and advance political and social agendas. In its pages, readers learned about sex and drugs, the Civil Rights Movement, the Depression, World War II, the Holocaust and the birth of Israel. The newspaper’s editorial and advertising department also played a key role in shaping American popular culture through its coverage of the music, movies, television shows and fashion of the day.
The New York Daily News has been a major force in the history of American newspapers. Throughout its history, the newspaper has been a leading provider of news, sports, entertainment and classified ads. Today, the newspaper is owned by Tronc, a Chicago-based media company. In addition to the New York City Daily News, the company owns dozens of other community and regional papers nationwide. The Yale Daily News Historical Archive was established in 1996 with the support of an anonymous alumnus. The archive is maintained by the library at Yale University.