The Dearborn Independent

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The Dearborn Independent, a/k/a The Ford International Weekly, was a weekly newspaper established in 1901, but published by Henry Ford from 1919 through 1927. It was notorious for its sensationalist content, and its publication in English of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In 1918, Ford negotiated to buy the Independent from Marcus Woodruff, who had been running it at a loss. The initial staff of the newspaper included E. G. Pipp, previously managing editor of the Detroit News, writers J. Cameron (also formerly of the News) and Marcus Woodruff, and Fred Black as business manager.

The paper was printed on a used press purchased by Ford and installed in Ford's tractor plant in The Rouge. Publication under Mr. Ford was inaugurated in January 1919. The paper initially attracted notoriety in June 1919 with coverage of the libel lawsuit between Henry Ford and the Chicago Tribune, as the stories written by Pipp and Cameron were picked up nationally.

The International Jew: The World's Problem in The Dearborn Independent, May 22, 1920

Ford did not write, but rather expressed his opinions verbally to his executive secretary, Ernest Liebold, and to J. Cameron. Cameron replaced Pipp as editor in April 1920 when Pipp left in disgust with the planned antisemitic articles, which began in May. Cameron had the main responsibility for expanding these opinions into article form, although he did not agree with them. Liebold was responsible for collecting more material to support the articles.

The paper reached a circulation of 900,000 by 1925 (only the New York Daily News was larger in this respect), largely due to promotion by Ford dealers due to a quota system. Lawsuits regarding the anti-Semitic material caused Ford to close the paper, the last issue being published in December 1927.

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