In 1879, an ambitious young drummer was trying to sell a new register to a hotel in Wheeling, W. Va. Leaning against the desk, he watched groups of politicians moving about the lobby, observed that the man they clustered about was William H. Johnson, editor of the Wheeling Register. A few months later Norman Edward Mack, just 21, a traveling salesman no longer, borrowed $2,500, established a Sunday Times in Buffalo, N. Y. and set out to become a political power himself. Four years later he borrowed some more money and made the...

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