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Iowa History Daily: September 30 - Adler & the Lee Syndicate

Iowa History Daily: On September 30, 1872, Emanuel Philip Adler was born. President of Lee Syndicate newspapers, Adler stood in business, civic involvement, and philanthropy while building a Midwestern newspaper empire.

Although born in Chicago, Adler moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, with his family while three years old. A promising writer in both English and German, E.P. Adler left school at age 13 to work for A.P. Lee on the Ottumwa Journal’s weekly German edition. After a whirlwind of early career stops left Adler broke out west in Colorado, he begged Lee for the chance to return to his old job. Across the 1890s, Adler rose from reporter, to city editor, to managing editor and business manager.

When Lee started his syndicate, he tabbed Adler to take over the Davenport Times. Adler, starting as the publisher for the Times in 1901, where he continued to prove a savvy newspaperman. When Lee died unexpectedly in 1907, Adler rose to serve as President of the Lee Syndicate. Under Adler’s leadership the Lee Syndicate flourished, and he went on to serve as the Vice President of the Associated Press.

Adler focused on civic involvement in Davenport throughout his life. Noted for his involvement in the local YMCA, Tri-City Jewish Charities, St. Luke’s Hospital, and St. Ambrose College, Adler’s influence extended well beyond the pages of his paper’s pages. A rival paper once tabbed him “No. 1 Citizen of Davenport” while another called him a “foe of intolerance and bigotry.” #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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