KOBRAK, HERBERT L. (16 Dec. 1890-22 July 1943) became involved in Cleveland's extensive foreign-language publishing field between the 2 world wars, until financial reverses led to his murder of the publisher of the PLAIN DEALER. He was born and educated in Hungary, immigrating to the U.S. in 1908. After various newspaper experience in other cities, notably with the Chicago Tribune, he came to Cleveland in 1917 and soon became general manager of the Hungarian-language daily, SZABADSAG. Apparently prosperous at first, he married Erna Clara Botschen of Chicago in 1919, resided on Clifton Blvd., and belonged to such organizations as the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the CITY CLUB, and the Northeastern Ohio Gun and Country Club. When Szabadsag became linked with the German-language WAECHTER UND ANZEIGER in 1928, Kobrak became general manager of the resultant Consolidated Press & Printing Co. Ten years later Consolidated went bankrupt, however, and Kobrak lost not only his job but a claimed investment of $40,000. His wife died in 1940, and he became obsessed with starting a new publishing venture, importuning not only his old associates for funds but the publisher of the Plain Dealer, John S. McCarrens, as well. Making an appointment to see McCarrens on 22 July, 1943, Kobrak entered the publisher's office and, during the course of his interview, fatally shot McCarrens before committing suicide with the same weapon.

Article Categories