Biography of Frank J. Svoboda
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

FRANK JOSEPH SVOBODA. One of the prominent newspaper men of Cleveland is Frank J. Svoboda, founder,, owner and publisher of The American, the leading Czechoslovak daily newspaper of Cleveland, and one of the most influential and prosperous foreign language publications in the United States

Mr. Svoboda was born in Bohemia, on May 1, 1874, and came to Cleveland direct from the old country in 1884. Here he finished his education in the parochial and night schools, working in a job printing shop during a part of that period, thus mastering the fundamentals of the printing trade. Leaving school, he found employment as compositor and proofreader on a Bohemian newspaper for four years, and in 1893 he opened a small job printing office of his own, doing work in the evenings.

In 1899 he established The American, starting its publication on limited means, but with unlimited confidence in himself and the future, and the success of the enterprise has fully demonstrated that both the man and project fully warranted the undertaking, for, starting without advertising or circulation prestige, Mr. Svoboda built up one of the leading newspapers of Cleveland, one which is a real factor in the affairs of the city, especially in the affairs of the large Bohemian population of Cleveland and of the state.

Recently, when The American celebrated its twenty first anniversary, a special photogravure edition of eighty six pages was issued, containing twenty four full page advertisements, together with the history of Czechoslovaks in Cleveland, which was embellished with the portraits and biographies of many of the pioneer and prominent Bohemian citizens of Cleveland. Three thousand copies of the edition were mailed to CzechoSlovakia in order that the people of that country might know and appreciate the influence of an American newspaper in their language.

While the United States was engaged in the World war Mr. Svoboda gave all possible assistance to the Government, especially in giving publicity through his paper to the sale of all bonds and securities. He is affiliated with the various Bohemian organizations, is active in municipal affairs, is a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the City Club and the Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Svoboda is married and has two daughters and three sons, one of his daughters being the wife of Dr. Frank Stovicek, the other daughter being a student at Ursuline College.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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