Frederich (Frederick) Johann Georg Hess Jr. (July 20, 1837 or 1840 - May 4, 1913) was a German - American publisher, active in San Francisco. He was born in Coblenz, Germany in 1837 (although he gave his birthdate as 1840 in the 1900 census.) He arrived in America either in 1849 (according to the 1900 census) or in 1854 (as per his 1913 obituary.) He and his mother arrived in San Francisco via Panama in 1855, his father having died on the voyage. He found employment as a sweeper-up at the ailing San Francisco German-language newspaper the California Demokrat. As gold fever drew many of the paper's staff away, he found himself called upon to serve the newspaper in virtually every position as became required. In 1856, in a remarkable turn of events, he purchased the dying newspaper at auction for $561. He was eighteen years old. Hess was able not only to save the paper, but to make it thrive: by 1893 the Demokrat was the longest running daily newspaper west of the Rocky Mountains.

Hess was naturalized September 5, 1859; in 1866 he married Ellen Magdalena Schuetze, with whom he had three sons and two daughters. He remained in San Francisco the rest of his life, was in general a booster of his adopted city, and was a particular supporter of its German community: he was a founder of the General German Benevolent Society and the German Savings and Loan Society. He was a charter member of the San Francisco Verein, an ethnic-German social club which also organized as a milita. By the time San Francisco was struck by the earthquake of 1906 he was prosperous enough that he could have retired, but instead chose to keep his publication running.