William S. Paley

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William S. Paley (1901-1990) "developed the CBS radio and television networks, and ran them for more than a half century. "A 20th-century visionary with the ambitions of a 19th-century robber baron," as The New York Times described him, Paley took over a tiny failing network with only 16 affiliate stations and developed it into a world-class communications empire." [1]

"Served as colonel, United States Army, World War II; deputy chief, psychological warfare division, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers (Europe); deputy chief, information control division, USGCC. Vice president, Congress Cigar Company, Philadelphia, 1922-28; president, CBS, Inc., New York City, 1928-46, chair of the board, 1946-83, founder and chair, 1983-86, acting chair, 1986-87, chair and director, 1987-90; partner, Whitcom Investment Company, 1982-90; founder, and member of board of directors, Genetics Institute, 1980-90; Thinking Machines Corp., 1983-90; co-chair, International Herald Tribune, 1983-1990; president and director, William S. Paley Foundation, Greenpark Foundation, Inc.

"Trustee: Museum of Modern Art, 1937-90, president, 1968-72, chair, 1972-85, chair emeritus, 1985-90; life trustee, Columbia University, 1950-73, trustee emeritus, 1973-90; North Shore University Hospital, 1949-57, co-chair, board of trustees, 1954-73; life trustee, Federation Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Member: board of directors, W. Averill Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of Soviet Union, Columbia University; Commission for White House Conference on Education, 1954-56; chair, President's Materials for Policy Commission, which produced "Resources for Freedom," 1951-52; executive committee, Resources for the Future, 1952-69, chair, 1966-69, honorary member, board of directors, 1969-90; chair, New York City Task Force on Urban Design, which prepared "The Threatened City" report, 1967; Urban Design Council City, New York, 1968-71; founding member, Bedford-Stuyvesant D and S Corp., director, 1967-72; Commission on Critical Choices for America, 1973-77, Commission for Cultural Affairs, New York City, 1975-78; founder and chair of the board, Museum of Broadcasting, from 1976; Council on Foreign Relations; Academy of Political Sciences; National Institute for Social Sciences; Royal Society of the Arts (fellow)... First Amendment Freedoms Award, Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith; Robert Eunson Distinguished Service Award, Association of Press Broadcasters; named to Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame, 1984. Died in Manhattan, New York, 26 October 1990." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Books

  • William S. Paley, "As It Happened. A Memoir", Garden City, NY; Doubleday, 1979.
  • David Halberstam, "The Powers that Be", New York: Knopf, 1979.
  • Robert Metz, "CBS: Reflections in a Bloodshot Eye", Chicago: Playboy Press, 1983.
  • Lewis J. Paper, "Empire: William S. Paley and the Making of CBS", New York: St. Martin's, 1987.
  • Robert Slater, "This...Is CBS: A Chronicle Of 60 Years", Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1988.
  • Sally Bedell Smith, "In All His Glory: The Life of William S. Paley, the Legendary Tycoon and His Brilliant Circle". New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. William S. Paley, Museum of Broadcast Communication, accessed March 10, 2008.
  2. William S. Paley, Museum of Broadcast Communication, accessed March 10, 2008.