"[S]uccessful editors, whether they chance to please women or men, strive only to please themselves—and they are successful because their personalities happen to be popular, fundamental, full of human likings and aversions and instincts." — David Graham Phillips, writing in Success Magazine, 1903. Phillips, a well-known novelist, magazine writer, and investigative reporter of his day, was also a celebrated murder victim.
It was on this day (October 29) in 1881 that Judge magazine made its debut. A popular satirical weekly that endured for several generations, Judge was founded largely by artists defecting from another well-known humor magazine of the day, Puck. Among the writers Judge gave an early career boost was the future New Yorker humorist and Marx Brothers script writer S. J. Perelman. Among its editors was Harold Ross, founding editor of The New Yorker, who served as coeditor of Judge for five months in 1924. The magazine continued publishing until 1947.
Working Woman magazine made its debut on this day (October 28) in 1976, under founding editor Beatrice Buckler. In a newspaper interview marking the occasion, she promised a magazine for "the independent-minded woman," unlike traditional women's titles, which she said "address women as if they are feeble-minded." Though Buckler left the following May in a dispute with her principal financial backer (a male), the magazine survived long enough to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It folded in late 2001.
"When looking back, usually I'm more sorry for the things I didn't do than for the things I shouldn't have done." — Malcom Forbes, late editor-in-chief and chairman of Forbes magazine, in his little green book, "The Sayings of Chairman Malcolm," 1978.
"Editor and writer must always write for the people who don't agree with them. You must always be able to prove more than you claim—or else, claim less." — S.S. McClure, editor of McClure's magazine, a leader in the investigative journalism that came to be known as muckraking, quoted in the book "Essentials in Journalism," 1912.
Today (October 24) is the birthday of Al Feldstein, Brooklyn-born in 1925. Feldstein became editor of Mad magazine in the mid-1950s and guided it for nearly three decades. Today, after what must be one of the most remarkable career changes of any ex-editor, he is a painter of Western landscapes and wildlife.
On October 23, 1928 newspapers announced that Amelia Earhart had joined Cosmopolitan (then known as Hearst's International combined with Cosmopolitan) as "the country's first magazine aviation editor." Earhart, whose 1937 disappearance over the Pacific remains a mystery, held the post until 1930. A copy of her letterhead from the magazine resides at Purdue's e-Archives.
George Horace Lorimer, longtime editor of the Saturday Evening Post, died at his home in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, on this day (October 22) in 1937. Lorimer, who was 69 at his death, also wrote popular books, such as "Letters From a Self-Made Merchant to His Son" (1902). The New York Times reported that he left an estate worth in excess of $10 million, the equivalent of about $148 million in today's dollars.
William W. Young, onetime editor of Hampton's Magazine and managing editor of Good Housekeeping, died on this day (October 21) in 1952 at age 84. Though Young is little remembered today as a magazine editor, he rates at least a footnote in film histories, as director of the first feature-length version of "Alice in Wonderland." Snippets of the charming 1915 silent can be seen on YouTube, and a 51-minute version is available at InternetArchive.org. In film credits, his name appears as W. W. Young.