Des Moines Register, The

▪ American newspaper
      morning daily newspaper published in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the most influential regional newspapers in the United States.

      It was founded in 1860. It absorbed its older competitor, the Des Moines Leader (founded as the Iowa Star in 1849) in a merger in 1902, becoming the Register and Leader. In the following year, Gardner Cowles, Sr., bought the paper; in 1908 Cowles purchased an evening daily, the Des Moines Tribune (1906), and publication of both papers—the morning Register and the evening Tribune, each with a separate editorial staff—continued under the Des Moines Register and Tribune Company. By 1927 the two remaining local competitors, the Daily News and the Capital, had merged with the Tribune, which was later discontinued.

      The Des Moines Register became famous for its editorials, its outstanding statewide news coverage, and its editorial cartoons. Its editorial cartoonist, Jay Norwood (“Ding”) Darling, was widely syndicated in the early 20th century. In 1925 Cowles engaged statistician George Gallup (Gallup, George Horace) to survey reader preferences—a precursor to the Gallup Poll of public opinion. In 1985, the paper was bought by the Gannett Co., Inc.

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Universalium. 2010.

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