William Randolph Hearst Jr. was the second son of the publisher William Randolph Hearst. He became editor-in-chief of Hearst Newspapers after the death of his father in 1951. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his interview with Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, and associated commentaries in 1955.
He was instrumental in restoring some measure of family control to the Hearst Corporation, which under his father’s will is (and will continue to be while any grandchild alive at William Randolph Hearst Sr.’s death in 1951 is still living) controlled by a board of thirteen trustees, five from the Hearst family and eight Hearst executives. When tax laws changed to prevent the foundations his father had established from continuing to own the corporation, he arranged for the family trust (with the same trustees) to buy the shares and for longtime chief executive Richard E. Berlin, who was going senile, to be eased out to become chairman of the trustees for a period. Later William Randolph Hearst Jr. himself headed the trust and served as chairman of the executive committee of the corporation. Today his branch of the family is represented on the trustees by his son William Randolph Hearst III.
He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.