The United Press Associations wire service was founded in 1907 by newspaper publisher E.W. Scripps to compete with the huge Associated Press. In 1959 United Press merged with International News Service, which had been formed in 1909 by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, to become United Press International.
News people who work for UPI are nicknamed "Unipressers." Famous Unipressers include broadcast journalists Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, Eric Sevareid, and William Shirer, who is best remembered today for writing "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."
UPI faced hard economic times in post-World War II era, going through seven owners between 1992 and 2000, when it was acquired by News World Communications, owner of the Washington Times in 2000. UPI's chief correspondent and most famous personality, Helen Thomas, promptly resigned, complaining about the Times's links to the Unification Church.