Penn Libraries News Center

The Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-2001)

The Philadelphia Inquirer has been the highest circulating newspaper in Philadelphia since 1980 and is the newspaper of record for the Delaware Valley Region.  It is also the third oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States.

During the Civil War, The Inquirer, which was pro-Union but attempted to provide neutral reporting, was widely circulated as a credible new source among Union and Confederate soldiers.  The paper remained staunchly Republican following the War, becoming known as the “Republican bible of Pennsylvania” by the 1920s.  From the late 1930s to the late 1960s The Inquirer took a notably conservative turn under the ownership of the Annenberg family.

The Inquirer was long second to the Evening Bulletin in circulation and prestige before new ownership brought changes in the early 1970s.  From 1975 to 1990 The Inquirer won seventeen Pultizers and more journalism prizes than any other newspaper in the country.