As you might have imagined, THE HOBO NEWS printed poems, cartoons, pin-ups, essays and news items that were useful to that unique class of men who rode the rails and frequent flop-houses. It was established in New York City by Pat "The Roaming Dreamer" Mulkern (1903 - 1948); the paper was run by hobos, for hobos and printed proudly across the awnings of their assorted offices were the words "a little cheer to match the sorrow". Mulkern recognized that no self-respecting litigator would ever stoop to sue a newspaper with such a pathetic name, and so the paper was voluntarily in constant violation of U.S. copyright law by habitually printing the articles they most admired that had earlier appeared in COLLIER'S, THE NEW YORKER and THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.
Unlike the paper's intended readership, THE HOBO NEWS made small achievements every day, which allowed them to hire additional staff and operate in bigger up-town offices; at the peak of their performance, Mulkern and his crew were able to boast of a circulation that numbered 123,000.
In light of the fact that THE HOBO NEWS had an entirely unorthodox hiring policy and refused to print advertisements in order to support itself, the paper had a surprisingly long life.
This reminiscence of the paper's origins was written by Jack Harris, a former hobo and, as he says, "apt to be one again any minute."