... in 2000, William J. Garry, editor of Bon Appetit magazine, died at age 56. According to Garry's obituaries, he and another editor, reportedly Rochelle Udell of Self magazine, were so underwhelmed by the food at one late-1990s National Magazine Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria that they ordered room service (pizza and shrimp) for themselves and their tablemates.
“Magazines are not just content providers, they are experience makers, one printed issue at a time. — Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, writing on his blog earlier this month. His annual “Samir Husni’s Guide to New Magazines” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
"Any sensible editor knows that he has no clairvoyant sixth sense which will enable him to know several months in advance just what the public will want to read. How could he?—the public itself doesn't know. But if he is alert and intelligent, interested in life and in people, if he mixes with enough folks to keep his wits sharpened, he can feel safe in buying and putting into his magazine those stories and features which interest or stimulate him. My entire editorial career was built on that theory." — Ray Long, longtime editor of Cosmopolitan (when it was a general-interest magazine) and editor-in-chief of William Randolph Hearst's International Magazine Company, looking back in 1932.
... in 1892, the wonderfully named Sumner Blossom was born. Blossom served as editor of Popular Science Monthly and then American Magazine. At the latter he introduced a system in which fiction manuscripts were read with the author's name obscured so that famous writers and unknowns would both be judged solely on merit. Blossom died in 1977.
Also on this day, in 1972, Nat Fleischer, longtime proprietor of The Ring magazine, "the Bible of boxing," died at age 74.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." — Elbert Hubbard, founder and editor of The Philistine and The Fra magazines, from "The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard."
Shana Alexander, onetime editor of McCall's, was the daughter of Milton Ager, composer of "Ain't She Sweet?" and "Happy Days Are Here Again."
Edward T. Thompson, former editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest, is the son of Edward K. Thompson, who was managing editor of Life and founding editor of Smithsonian. The latter's memoir is "A Love Affair with Life and Smithsonian" (University of Missouri Press, 1995).
Another well-known managing editor of Life, Ralph Graves, is also a second generation editor. His father, Ralph A. Graves, was an editor at National Geographic.
"I now go on the principle that a journalist isn't entitled to friends, or an editor, either." — New Yorker founding editor Harold Ross, in a 1941 letter to Brendan Gill, future author of the memoir "Here at the New Yorker," reprinted in "Letters From the Editor: The New Yorker's Harold Ross," edited by Thomas Kunkel (The Modern Library, 2000).
... in 1913, Sylvia Porter, later to become the nominal editor-in-chief of Sylvia Porter's Personal Finance magazine, was born. Porter, who might rightfully be considered the inventor of personal finance journalism, was past her prime during her magazine's run in the 1980s. To my knowledge (I was the magazine's managing, then executive, editor), she never set foot in its offices at Davis Publications, although she did read manuscripts messengered to her Fifth Avenue apartment and house in pastoral Pound Ridge, New York. Sylvia would comment on them in her trademark green pen, and woe to you if you ever split an infinitive.
Also born on this day, in 1856: Elbert Hubbard, the future Sage of East Aurora and editor of several magazines.