David Novak of oGoLead spoke with legendary business journalist Carol Loomis about her six-decade Fortune magazine career, which began in 1954.
Loomis grew up in Cole Camp, Missouri, and her high school graduating class had 36 students. Her mother was a home economics teacher at the high school and her father didn’t attend college. In high school, she worked for the local bank and learned some accounting.
“Everybody knew everybody else in this little town,” said Loomis. “It was a very friendly place to work.”
Her first job after graduating from the University of Missouri was working for the Maytag Co. publication, a 24-page magazine. Within six months, she was its editor.
She began reading Fortune magazine while working at Maytag and wanted to move to New York to work for its parent company, Time Inc. After interviewing, she received a letter on a Thursday from Fortune saying that the next time she was in New York to stop by the office because it had an opening.
Loomis was at the magazine’s office the following Monday. She was hired in 1954.
“I had always wanted to be in New York and work for a big-time magazine,” said Loomis. At that time, men wrote the stories at Fortune, and the women acted as researchers, essentially reporting, assigned to senior writers.
Loomis took notes during interviews where the writer would ask questions. “It was not something that bothered me at all,” said Loomis. “I learned so much from these senior writers, and I believed I had a great job.”
In 1962, Loomis began writing an investment column for the magazine.
To listen to the interview, go here.