The Early Life of "Willie Hearst"
THE fates at his birth gave him a twisted and partial vision, left something out of him, blinded him to values and proportions that move even the mob when it turns thumbs up or down," wrote George P. West in his searching article, "Hearst: a Psychological Note", in the American Mercury of November 1930. But it was not the niggardliness of the fates that was at fault; rather, it was their too indiscriminate generosity; not something left out, but the warring abundance that was put in.
A psychologist might have prophesied that any child of two such opposed characters as George Hearst and Phebe Apperson would be likely to have a strange divided personality. The father, loud, flamboyant, outwardly genial, inwardly acquisitive and ruthless with a turn for knavish practices; the mother quiet, gentle, and refined, loving art and sweet charity; Chaucer's Miller and Chaucer's Prioress absurdly wedded; what could come from their loins save some incongruous combination of fairy prince and werewolf? William Randolph Hearst was predestined when George Hearst and Phebe Apperson met at the altar on that June day of 1862.
From his mother he derived, by inheritance or early influence, his soft voice and courteous manner, his strain of romantic idealism and his taste for art -- both sadly vulgarized by the George Hearst within him. The father's physical characteristics were reproduced in the son's tall stature and large nose, while father and son had in common their enormous energy, their love of sports, and their yearning for unlimited power. That lofty