Wharton Hoch was born in Topeka on June 23, 1908. His father was a justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and his grandfather, E.W. Hoch, twice served as governor.
Hoch graduated from Marion High School in 1926 and from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, in 1931. He worked for newspapers in Chicago and was a member of the society of journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. He also worked in banking houses in both London and Paris.
Hoch took over the Marion Record in 1944 and merged it with the Marion Review, serving as editor until his death in 1967.
A president of the Kansas Press Association and a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation, Hoch was active in the Republican Party. His public service included work in Marion in education, charity and service clubs.