The story behind Fortune’s beginning
Clifton Leaf, the new editor in chief at Fortune, writes about how the business magazine started nearly 90 years ago.
Leaf writes, “‘Business is our life,’ said Henry Luce in a speech he delivered in March 1929, just 11 months before launching Fortune magazine. ‘It is the life of the artist, the clergyman, the philosopher, the doctor, because it determines the condition and problems of life with which either artist or philosopher, let alone ordinary mortals, have to deal.’
“Luce’s business partner Briton Hadden, with whom he had launched Time magazine six years earlier — and who would die from a blood infection at age 31, just weeks before Luce spoke the words above — was far less enamored of the idea of starting a business magazine, as Robert Elson relates in his compelling history of Time Inc. There were a few such publications out there already, and they hadn’t made much of a splash.
“But Luce was convinced that the others had misunderstood the mission. His offering wouldn’t chase boorish tycoons for gossip, but would instead explore the wild terrain of free enterprise with fairness and daring and sophistication. Indeed, he thought, the task of covering this realm accurately and vividly would be ‘the greatest journalistic assignment in history.'”
Read more here.