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Alicia Patterson

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Alicia Patterson
Born: October 15, 1906
Died: July 2, 1963
Country: United States
Area(s): publisher, writer
Notable Work: Deathless Deer
Web Presence
Official Site

Alicia Patterson (1906-1963) was the founder and editor of Newsday, and the writer of the Deathless Deer newspaper strip.

Life and CareerEdit

A daughter of Alice (née Higinbotham) and Joseph Medill Patterson, the founder of the New York Daily News and the great-granddaughter of Joseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Alicia Patterson found her calling late in life when her third husband, Harry Guggenheim, wanted to keep her busy and out of trouble. She found her own niche in a family full of successful publishers. She was fired as a writer at her father's Daily News in her early 20s, after getting the basic facts of a divorce wrong in a published report. She was memorialized by Joan Miró's mural, Alicia at the Guggenheim Museum, proposed by Harry F. Guggenheim, then president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

She married Harry Guggenheim, United States ambassador to Cuba during the late 1920s/early 1930s, in 1939. Shortly after the Guggenheim-Patterson marriage, Harry Guggenheim used $750,000 of the Guggenheim family's fortune to help his wife found the Nassau Daily Journal, also known as Newsday. Guggenheim awarded 49% of the paper's stock to his wife, but made sure that he retained 51%. Newsday has been a mostly Nassau County/Suffolk County-oriented Long Island tabloid for most of its existence.

In 1942, she launched the comic strip Deathless Deer with artist Neysa McMein. It was published through rival Hearst papers to avoid charges of nepotism.

Alicia Patterson died, aged 56, following stomach surgery, on July 2, 1963. Her ashes are interred beneath a live oak at her favorite hunting lodge in Kingsland, Georgia.


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