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Philadelphia Inquirer

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The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of a two Knight Ridder newspaper duopoly daily for the Philadelphia area. It is the third oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States. Circulation in 2003 was 387,692 daily and over 778,000 on Sundays. The Philadelphia Inquirer composition and layout is done with Macintosh computers.

It was founded as the Pennsylvania Inquirer by John Norvell and John R. Walker on June 1, 1829, though they were forced to sell it to Jesper Harding less than six months later. Harding merged the Pennsylvania Inquirer with the Daily Courier in 1839, and for a while the paper was known as The Pennsylvania Inquirer and Daily Courier. In 1845, it was called The Pennsylvania Inquirer and National Gazette. Jesper Harding retired in 1859 and was succeeded by his son William White Harding, who changed the paper's name to the present Philadelphia Inquirer in 1860.

Beginning in 1889, the paper was owned by James Elverson, who was succeeded by his son James Jr. in the early 1900s. James Jr. died in 1929 without children and ownership passed to his sister, Eleanor Elverson Patenotre, who was married to the U.S. Ambassador to France, Jules Patenotre, and lived in Paris. A year later, she sold the paper to Cyrus Curtis, who published the rival newspaper, the Public Ledger. Curtis died a year and a half later and his son-in-law, John Martin took over and merged the two papers. However, with the onset of Great Depression the effort was a failure and control of both papers reverted to the Patenotres in Paris.

In 1936 it was purchased by Moses Annenberg. In 1939, Moses plead guilty to charges of tax evasion and his son Walter Annenberg took control of the business operations. In 1969, Walter was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be Ambassador to Britain. Walter decided to sell the Inquirer (along with the Philadelphia Daily News), and on December 31 the papers became part of Knight Publications, Inc. (now the Knight Ridder corporation).

One of the most well-known editors at the paper during this era was Gene Roberts. Known to most of his staff as "The Frog," he was executive editor of the newspaper from 1972 to 1991. During his tenure, the paper won 17 Pulitzer Prizes.

One of the Inquirer's long-time competitors was Philadelphia's Evening Bulletin, which stopped publishing on January 29, 1982.

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