“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” – Henry R. Luce
The son of missionaries, Henry R. Luce worked his way through Yale, started his career as a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun and left newspapers to start a magazine at the ripe old age of 23. By the time he had reached age 40 he was called “The most influential private citizen in the America of his day.” What led to that praise was that first magazine, and the stable of others he launched, supervised and grew into a juggernaut that transformed journalism AND the reading habits of Americans.
It was Luce who founded Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news; Life pictured the politics, culture and society of the nation before the era of television; Fortune explored the economy and the world of business; and Sports Illustrated shared the motivations and strategies of America’s sporting world and its leading players, coaches and owners.
Radio projects and newsreels supplemented the written words that his stable of exemplary writers and photographers unleashed, and thus he also created the world’s first multimedia corporation.
The influence of Luce lives on in how we treat the news and the people who make it. He once said that his goal was never to create a great news institution. "My goal," he said, "was ... a great tradition of journalism ably practiced in our time.”
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