S. I. Newhouse Jr. was the owner of many very successful and influential magazines over the years, from Vogue and The New Yorker to Vanity Fair. Sadly, on Sunday, he passed away at his home Manhattan at the age of 89.
The story of Mr. Newhouse, or Si, as everyone knew him, began when him and his younger brother, Donald, inherited the publishing empire from their father, Samuel. I. Newhouse. Together, they managed to make it one of the most important privately held fortunes in the United States. Rumor has it that when the 21st century began, the wealth of the family was of about $12 billion. Donald was taking care of the profitable newspapers and the cable television area, while Si was in charge of the glossy magazines and the division Conde Nast. Si was the one who created a great deal of that glamorous facade of those magazines.
The legendary Conde Nast division
Mr. Newhouse was one of those people who were incredibly shy and awkward in public. However, he was the mind who hired some of the most important editors, who, over the years, became true legends. Some of those were Diana Vreeland and Anna Wintour at Vogue, and Graydon Carter and Tina Brown at Vanity Fair. He was the one who encouraged them to act like true celebrities as they were not below those people they were writing in the magazines about.
Back in 1989, Newhouse was saying that he was not an editor, but that he careful to let his editors do whatever they wanted. He gave them the freedom nobody else had to offer. However, he wasn’t joking around with his business and when a magazine was getting bad reviews or sales were going down, he would fire editor after editor. Sometimes, those people were hearing that they had been fired directly on television.
His wife Victoria survives him, along with brother Donald and son and daughter Sam and Pamela. He also has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He had another son, Wynn, who died back in 2010.
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