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George Hearst


1993 Inductee from Mining's Past

George Hearst, the son of a Missouri farmer, came to California during the gold rush with no formal education. He began his mining career in placer mining, unsuccessfully, at Hangtown, Jackass Gulch, and then Nevada City.

His fortune was made after he made a deal to purchase a one-half interest in the Gould and Curry mine, followed by the purchase of a one sixth interest in the Ophir mine for $3,000. These two mines proved to be the richest of all the Comstock mines.

When Hearst sold his Comstock holdings, he reinvested his profits into the Ontario Mine in Utah, the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, and the Anaconda copper mine in Butte, Montana.  He thereby became one of the richest men in mining. In 1866, he was appointed United States Senator from California and became one of mining's most active spokesmen.

Hearst's mining fortune also purchased the San Francisco Daily Examiner, the first block of what would become the Hearst Publishing Empire, headed by his son, William Randolph Hearst.

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