Dorothy Schiff, granddaughter of the famed financier Jacob Schiff and owner-publisher of the New York Post during its liberal hey-day, for nearly four decades, died at 86 on this date in 1989. Married four times and involved with many other men, she was wealthy throughout her life and, according to Francesca Tillona at the Jewish Women’s Archive, a “paradox…. Schiff was attractive, socially prominent, and politically influential — but plagued by depression and anxiety…. Received into the Episcopal church before her first marriage, she reverted to Judaism before her second, favored the establishment of Israel but disapproved of her third husband’s support of the Irgun, and visited Israel with her fourth husband — a place that was ‘grimmer’ than she expected but impressive in its dedication to the kibbutz movement.” The New York Post — which she doomed to become a rag by selling it to Rupert Murdoch in 1976 — is America’s oldest continuously published daily and 13th oldest newspaper, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801. Under Schiff’s command, it featured such popular columnists as Drew Pearson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Max Lerner, Murray Kempton, Pete Hamill, and Broadway gossip columnist Earl Wilson.
“The men I was in love with were in love with someone else, and the men who were in love with me were a nuisance. And so I have given that side of me to things — my newspaper, really.” —Dorothy Schiff