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Reynolds v. Pegler

Significance, Reynolds Sues For Libel, Libel: Are Large Settlements Deterrents?


Quentin Reynolds


Westbrook Pegler, The Hearst Corporation, and Hearst Consolidated Publications

Plaintiff's Claim

That a certain column published by the defendants on 29 November 1949 libeled the plaintiff.

Chief Lawyers for Plaintiff

Walter S. Beck, Paul Martinson, Louis Nizer

Chief Defense Lawyer

Charles Henry


Edward Weinfeld


New York, New York

Date of Decision

22 July 1954


Against all defendants: Reynolds awarded $1 in compensatory damages and $175,000 in punitive damages.

Related Cases

  • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
  • Westmoreland v. CBS, 770 F. 2d 1168 (1984).
  • Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988).


Pressman, Steven. "An Unfettered Press. Libel Law in the United States." http://www.usia.gov/usa/infousa/media/unfetter/press08.htm

Further Readings

  • Farr, Finis. Fair Enough: The Life of Westbrook Pegler. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Publishers, 1975.
  • Nizer, Louis. My Life in Court. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1961.
  • Pilat, Oliver Ramsay. Pegler, Angry Man of the Press. Boston: Beacon Press, 1963.
  • Reynolds, Quentin. By Quentin Reynolds. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962