Michael de Young: The transformed mogul
Michael de Young was the youngest of three brothers who arrived in San Francisco with their mother in the early 1860s just prior to the Civil War. The two older brothers, Gustav and Charles, started a small periodical, the Daily Dramatic Chronicle, to cover the stage and other literary events. Michael kept the books. But Michael had ambitions, and despite major handicaps, achieved most of them. Michael was destined to become one of the shapers of San Francisco high society. The Daily Dramatic Chronicle changed its name to the Chronicle as circulation exploded. Under the tutelage of Charles and Michael -- no one knows what happened to Gustav -- and the effective use of scathing populist journalism, the Chronicle became San Francisco's leading daily. The Chronicle's tall tower at Kearny and Bush streets contained the most modern technology in printing equipment; the days when new publishers with minimal investment could compete with established papers had effectively ended.