"Editor: 1. A person employed on a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed." — Elbert Hubbard, founder and editor of The Philistine and The Fra magazines, in "The Roycroft Dictionary."
"An editor is so powerful in his limited world—that's why many of us are such dreadful bores." — longtime pulp magazine editor Harold Hersey in his memoir, "Pulpwood Editor" (1937). Like many magazine editors of his day, Hersey was also a poet.
"I have been literally overwhelmed by the congratulatory avalanche. Some hundreds of letter are piled upon me. Verses of all degrees—some beautiful, some intensely absurd—but all kindly meant—have been showered upon me, as if I were a Magazine Editor." — poet John Greenleaf Whittier, in an 1878 letter, reflecting on the honors bestowed on him for his 70th birthday.
George Horace Lorimer, late editor of the Saturday Evening Post, left an estate valued at $9,700,000, according to newspaper reports on this day (January 25) in 1939. In today's dollars that would be more than $148 million.
"A word more... so that we editors may not seem quite so mysterious, inconsistent, arbitrary and other things as we do at present. Take the editor of any fiction magazine—or any magazine, for that matter. So long as he works on that particular magazine his job is, generally speaking, not to test a manuscript by its general literary or general magazine merits, nor to choose according to his own personal tastes, but, to the best of his ability, to choose first according to its suitability to that particular magazine. If John Jones is editor of magazine B and then becomes editor of magazine C, his manuscript tastes will change instantly. He will accept some stories he rejected for B and reject some others that he would gladly have taken for B. That is, if John is a good editor and has not deliberately taken up the task of making C as much like B as possible." — Arthur Sullivant Hoffman, editor of Adventure magazine, in his book "Fundamentals of Fiction Writing" (1922). Hoffman also had this to say about rejection.
Today is the birthday of Fulton Oursler, editor of Liberty, among other magazines; author of "The Greatest Story Ever Told;" and amateur ventriloquist. Oursler was born on January 22, 1893, in Baltimore. His posthumously published autobiography is "Behold This Dreamer!" (Little, Brown, 1964).
Today (January 20) is believed to be the birthday of Fleur Cowles, founder and editor of Flair, a lavish but short-lived magazine of the 1950s. Cowles was apparently less than forthcoming about the circumstances of her birth, but her June 8, 2009 New York Times obituary said she was born Florence Friedman on January 20, 1908 in New York City. Cowles, who lived to be 101, left behind several memoirs, including "Friends & Memories" (1975) and "She Made Friends and Kept Them" (1996).