George Hearst (hûrst), 1820–91, American mining magnate, U.S. senator (1886–91), b. Franklin co., Mo. He went to California in 1850 and became a mining prospector and geologist. He successfully selected and invested in numerous mining properties, notably the Ontario in Utah, the Ophir in Nevada, the Homestake in South Dakota, and the Anaconda in Montana. He bought (1880) the San Francisco Examiner, which his son William Randolph Hearst managed after 1887. An unsuccessful Democratic candidate (1885) for U.S. Senator, George Hearst was later appointed (1886) and then elected (1888) to the Senate. His wife, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, 1842–1919, became a prominent philanthropist and donated freely to the Univ. of California for buildings, expeditions, and facilities.
See biography by C. M. B. and F. Older (1933, new ed. 1966).