It was on this day (September 17) in 1906, that E.J. Ridgway, editor of the monthly Everybody's Magazine announced the launch of a new title, Ridgway's Weekly. The weekly was to be published simultaneously in 14 U.S. cities, each with its own local editor. Unfortunately, according to the magazine historian Frank Luther Mott, this interesting and way-ahead-of-its-time experiment "lasted only a few months."
It was on this day (September 16) in 1971, that Cowles Publications announced Look magazine's October 19 issue would be its last. The company said the 34-year-old magazine had 28 million readers, but "reader interest and a desire for a publication like Look is not enough to ensure its survival if advertising volume is insufficient and costs continue to rise." Its last cover subject was the White House.
On this day (September 15) in 1940, Glenn Frank, former editor of The Century magazine, was killed in an automobile accident, along with his son, Glenn, Jr. Frank's death occurred the night before a Wisconsin primary election in which he sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Frank had become editor of The Century, then a major national magazine, in 1921, at the age of 33. He left editing in 1925 to become president of the University of Wisconsin, a post he held for the next dozen years. Reflecting on Frank's death, Hamilton Holt, another prominent magazine editor (The Independent) turned college president (Rollins), was quoted as saying that, "Glenn Frank might well have been President of the United States if he had lived." At his death, Frank was 53, his son 21.
"Of course, it is commendable to write for
practice, but remember that editors do not find it necessary to read for practice.
No matter how fair-minded a man may be, it is not in human nature to read four useless
manuscripts from one person and then open a fifth with a mind predisposed to
favorable consideration." —Ellery Sedgwick, then editor of Leslie’s Monthly,
1901. Sedgwick went on to greater glory as editor and owner of The Atlantic Monthly.
"The conflict between editors and undiscovered writers is age-long and
irretrievable, like that of cattlemen and sheepmen." — Henry Sydnor Harrison, writing in The Atlanic Monthly, 1914. Harrison was best known as the author of the once-famous novel "Queed" (1911).
"A good editor anywhere, especially if he is expected to be creative, has to have freedom to make mistakes." — Sidney L. James, founding managing editor of Sports Illustrated and a longtime Time Inc.'er, in his 1994 memoir, "Press Pass."
"What I know is that an editor is omnipotent, and ought to be, and that nobody but a fool complains of what he does." — An unnamed writer, quoted by Edward Everett Hale in The Outlook magazine, 1894. Hale is best known today as the author of "The Man Without a Country."
Today (September 10) is the birthday of John Brisben Walker, onetime editor and owner of Cosmopolitan magazine, born in Pennsylvania in 1847. Walker was also an early car manufacturer, Congressional candidate, and many other things. He died in 1931 at age 83.
Arthur T. Vance, editor in chief of Pictorial Review and formerly of Woman's Home Companion, both major magazines in their time, died in New York on this day (September 8) in 1930. He was 57. Among Vance's editorial accomplishments was a crusade against child labor.
It was on this day (September 7) in 1947 that Liz Tilberis was born near Manchester, England. Tilberis edited Harper's Bazaar through most of the 1990s before succumbing to ovarian cancer at age 51, in 1999. Her memoir "No Time to Die" (Little, Brown) appeared a year earlier.
"The mischief of the present tendency is that the public attains a smattering of many things, and rarely has accurate knowledge of anything..." — George C. Lorimer, in his 1892 book, "What I Know About Books and How to Use Them." Lorimer attributed this sad state of affairs to what he called "'railway literature,' that which can be disposed of at a steam-engine's rate of speed and that condenses a science, a biography, a philosophy within the narrow limits of a magazine article." Lorimer, a well-known Baptist minister in his day, was, by coincidence, the father of George Horace Lorimer, longtime editor of The Saturday Evening Post.