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26 Sep 2007 - 06 May 2021
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Harold Ross launches The New Yorker on February 21st, with financial backing from Raoul Fleischmann, the founder of the General Baking Company. Dorothy Parker, Ralph Barton, Alexander Woollcott, Ring Lardner, and Robert Benchley are among the early contributors. Rea Irvin draws the first cover—a mythical, monocled Regency dandy, later dubbed Eustace Tilley, who becomes the face of the magazine. Katharine S. Angell (later Katharine S. White) joins the staff as the magazine’s first fiction editor.
Janet Flanner, as Genêt, publishes her first Letter from Paris, which she will continue to write until 1975.
The November 28th issue makes front-page news with a piece by Ellin Mackay, “Why We Go to Cabarets: A Post-Débutante Explains.” For the first time, the magazine sells out on newsstands.
E. B. White is hired, and Peter Arno does the first of his ninety-nine covers for the magazine—typically full-page, dark-wash drawings of wealthy New York men and ample showgirls.
G. F. T. Ryall writes his first horse-racing column, under the pen name Audax Minor. He will write The Race Track until 1978.
John O’Hara begins his sometimes stormy, nearly forty-year run as a contributor of original, dialogue-filled short fiction. By the time of his death, in 1970, he will have contributed two hundred and thirty-nine stories to the magazine.
Wolcott Gibbs publishes a short story called “On Working That Line Into the Conversation.” For the next thirty years, he is one of the magazine’s most spirited editors and contributors, writing hundreds of articles and reviews, including, in 1936, a celebrated Profile of Henry Luce, “Time . . . Fortune . . . Life . . . Luce.”
After the stock-market crash, the Notes and Comment section includes the comforting recommendation “Try and catch a little sleep. Mother is near.”
The Talk of the Town reports on a new toy phenomenon called the yo-yo. F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes a story entitled “A Short Autobiography,” and William Butler Yeats publishes his only poem in the magazine, “Death.”
Ogden Nash publishes his first poem in The New Yorker, “Invocation.”
In the February 22nd issue, the magazine runs a drawing by James Thurber for the first time. E. B. White had rescued Thurber’s doodles from being discarded, and encouraged the writer to publish his art work. Sections of an office wall bearing Thurber’s sketches will be moved from building to building as the magazine relocates.
S. J. Perelman’s first piece, “Open Letter to Moira Ransom,” appears in the issue of December 13th.
William Shawn joins the magazine as a freelance Talk of the Town reporter.
The New Yorker publishes its first cartoon by Charles Addams. In the course of fifty-six years, Addams will contribute sixty-eight covers and more than twelve hundred cartoons.
Edmund Wilson begins writing for the magazine with a poem entitled “Wilson’s Night Thoughts.” In the next four decades, he will contribute many critical and fact pieces, including a much praised three-part series on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
John Cheever’s story “Brooklyn Rooming House” is published. It is the first of more than a hundred that he will publish in The New Yorker.
The offices of the magazine move from 25 West Forty-fifth Street to 25 West Forty-third Street, where they will remain for fifty-six years.
Brendan Gill and A. J. Liebling begin their long associations with the magazine. Gill, in a sixty-one-year tenure, establishes a reputation as a theatre and architecture critic and a writer-about-town. Liebling, in a twenty-eight-year tenure, will contribute pieces on Tin Pan Alley eccentrics; report on the war from England, North Africa, and France; cover prizefighters, politics, and French food; and write The Wayward Press.
William Maxwell begins writing for The New Yorker with a short story entitled “Mrs. Farnham Puts Her Foot Down.” He will become a fiction editor and contribute fiction and book reviews for more than sixty years.
Joseph Mitchell officially joins the magazine. During the next fifty-eight years, he will contribute memoirs of his Southern boyhood, discursive reports on the harbor life and the back corners of New York, and a number of short stories.
William Carlos Williams publishes his first poem in the magazine.
Emily Hahn’s Reporter at Large “Peace Comes to Shanghai” is published. She will become the magazine’s most widely travelled reporter.
The New Yorker publishes W. H. Auden’s poem “Song.”
James Thurber’s story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which will become an American classic, is published.
Philip Hamburger joins The New Yorker. He will go on to write for almost every section of the magazine, covering, among other things, the Second World War and fourteen Presidential inaugurations.
William Shawn becomes the magazine’s managing editor.
Frequent contributors of humor and light verse include Frank Sullivan, Robert Benchley, E. B. White, S. J. Perelman, James Thurber, Wolcott Gibbs, Phyllis McGinley, Morris Bishop, Dorothy Parker, and Ogden Nash.
Saul Steinberg makes his début in the magazine. His drawings and covers (ninety of them, including the famous 1976 illustration of a New York-centered view of the world) will help define The New Yorker. Among the artists and cartoonists appearing in the magazine are Reginald Marsh, Rea Irvin, Constantin Alajalov, William Steig, Mary Petty, Whitney Darrow, Jr., Al Frueh, Gluyas Williams, Perry Barlow, Richard Decker, Chon Day, Helen Hokinson, and George Price.
Vladimir Nabokov publishes his poem “Literary Dinner,” the first of many contributions.
Harold Ross, who had edited the Army newspaper Stars & Stripes during the First World War, offers a smaller, “pony” edition of The New Yorker for overseas servicemen, which is published through 1946. In a 1946 Comment, E. B. White will write, “At one time, what with the copies of the regular edition mailed secondhand by soldiers’ families, our service readers outnumbered our civilian readers ten to one.”
David Lardner, a war correspondent for The New Yorker who had earlier written about theatre, film, and sports, is killed by a land mine in Germany.
Mary McCarthy begins writing for the magazine with a short story entitled “The Company Is Not Responsible.” She will contribute numerous pieces of fiction and nonfiction, including Profiles of Venice and Florence.
Roger Angell’s first piece for the magazine, “Three Ladies in the Morning,” is published.
Eleanor Gould, after pointing out solecisms in the magazine in a letter to William Shawn, is hired as a copy editor. She becomes The New Yorkers grammarian, a position she holds until 1999.
Philip Hamburger publishes his most famous piece, Letter from Berchtesgaden, an exploration of Hitler’s estate, in the issue of June 9th.
Andy Logan, who will become the dean of the City Hall press corps, joins the magazine as its first female Talk of the Town reporter.
John Hersey’s Reporter at Large “Hiroshima” is published in the August 31st issue, marking the first time that an entire issue is devoted to one piece of writing.
In the issue of December 21st, The New Yorker runs “Slight Rebellion Off Madison,” by a young writer named J. D. Salinger. Its character Holden Caulfield will be incorporated into Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” His story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” published in the issue of January 31, 1948, will establish a new tone for American short fiction.
E. B. White’s postwar Comment pieces about the need for world government spark national discussion.
Berton Roueché’s first Annals of Medicine column sets a standard for medical journalism. He will continue writing for the magazine for forty-three years.
Harry S. Truman’s inauguration also inaugurates the Letter from Washington, written by a new political observer, Richard Rovere.
Lillian Ross, a contributor to the magazine since 1946, writes a Profile of Ernest Hemingway, entitled “How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?”
Harold Ross dies, at the age of fifty-nine.
In January, William Shawn is named editor of the magazine.
John Updike’s first New Yorker poem, “Duet, with Muffled Brake Drums” (August 14th), and first New Yorker short story, “Friends from Philadelphia” (October 30th), are published. He will go on to write hundreds of works of fiction, poetry, and criticism for the magazine, and remains a regular contributor.
Roger Angell joins the staff as a fiction editor. He is the author of nine books, and is still an editor and writer at the magazine.
Whitney Balliett begins his long tenure as the magazine’s jazz critic.
The magazine publishes Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mussel Hunter at Rock Harbor.”
The cartoonist Lee Lorenz joins The New Yorker. In 1973 he will become the magazine’s art editor, responsible for covers and cartoons, a position that he holds for twenty years.
“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” Muriel Spark’s tale of an Edinburgh schoolmistress, is published in the October 14th issue. It becomes a book and then a hit play on Broadway and in London. An Oscar-winning film follows.
Roger Angell begins his tenure as baseball correspondent with a spring Sporting Scene, “The Old Folks Behind Home.”
James Baldwin’s groundbreaking essay “Letter from a Region in My Mind” is published in the issue of November 17th. A year later, it appears as part of Baldwin’s book “The Fire Next Time.”
“Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s exposé of the hazards of pesticides, runs in three issues.
“Eichmann in Jerusalem,” Hannah Arendt’s landmark five-part series, is published.
Calvin Trillin begins writing for The New Yorker. Throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, his U.S. Journal and American Chronicles columns take him to small towns and big cities around the country. He is still a regular contributor.
Truman Capote’s Annals of Crime “In Cold Blood” is published in four fall issues. This account of multiple murders in a small Kansas town is acclaimed as a triumph of literary journalism.
John McPhee writes his first Profile for the magazine, “A Sense of Where You Are,” about Bill Bradley, at the time a basketball star at Princeton. McPhee, who is still a contributor, has written twenty-six books, most of whose contents first appeared in the magazine.
Woody Allen publishes his first piece of fiction in The New Yorker, “The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers.”
Jonathan Schell’s Reporter at Large “The Village of Ben Suc,” in the July 15th issue, chronicles the demolition of a South Vietnamese village. His book “The Fate of the Earth,” published in 1982, is made up of three New Yorker articles on the looming dangers of nuclear war.
Pauline Kael begins reviewing films for the magazine, and during the next twenty-three years her reviews will become required reading for cinéastes, moviegoers, and filmmakers.
Raoul Fleischmann, the magazine’s publisher—and an occasional contributor—dies. He is succeeded by his son Peter.
George Booth publishes his first cartoon in The New Yorker in the June 14th issue.
Charles A. Reich publishes “The Greening of America,” an essay on the social, economic, and environmental implications of capitalism, which will later become the basis for a best-selling book.
Garrison Keillor’s first New Yorker piece, “Local Family Keeps Son Happy,” appears in the September 19th issue. He will go on to publish more than fifty short stories in the magazine.
Arlene Croce begins her long tenure as dance critic.
C. D. B. Bryan’s Annals of War, “Friendly Fire,” an account of a family’s efforts to uncover the facts of a son’s death in Vietnam, is published in three March issues.
The New Yorker publishes its first cartoon by Roz Chast.
George W. S. Trow, Jr., writes a two-part Profile of the record-industry mogul Ahmet Ertegun, “Eclectic, Reminiscent, Amused, Fickle, Perverse.”
Kenneth Tynan, a contributor of theatre reviews since 1958, writes about the enigmatic film star Louise Brooks in his Profile “The Girl in the Black Helmet.”
A Reporter at Large by Susan Sheehan about a woman’s lifelong battle with schizophrenia runs in four parts. The articles become the book “Is There No Place on Earth for Me?” (1982)
Ken Auletta’s “The Underclass,” on poverty in America, appears in three parts. Auletta continues to write for the magazine.
Contributors of fiction include William Maxwell, Ann Beattie, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Donald Barthelme, John Updike, Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason, Peter Taylor, Mary Robison, Mavis Gallant, V. S. Pritchett, William Trevor, Cynthia Ozick, and Stanislaw Lem.
The Fleischmann family sells The New Yorker to Advance Publications, Inc.
In February, Robert Gottlieb, the former editor-in-chief of Alfred A. Knopf, succeeds William Shawn as editor of the magazine.
The roster of frequently published cartoonists includes George Booth, Roz Chast, Charles Addams, Robert Weber, Frank Modell, Lee Lorenz, James Stevenson, Ed Koren, J. J. Sempé, George Price, Victoria Roberts, Arnie Levin, Robert Mankoff, Charles Saxon, William Hamilton, and William Steig.
Neil Sheehan’s four-part Annals of War “An American Soldier in Vietnam” is published. The articles become the book “A Bright Shining Lie,” which wins the Pulitzer Prize.
Ian Frazier’s “Great Plains,” an account of the land and people of the central United States, appears as a three-part Reporter at Large. Later published as a book, it will become a best-seller.
The New Yorker moves its offices from 25 West Forty-third Street to 20 West Forty-third Street.
In September, Tina Brown succeeds Robert Gottlieb as editor. The magazine introduces a substantial redesign with the October 5th issue.
Richard Avedon becomes the magazine’s first staff photographer, and John Lahr is named theatre critic.
William Shawn dies on December 8th. The New Yorker pays tribute to him with a collection of reminiscences by writers and editors.
“Up in the Old Hotel,” a compilation of a quarter-century of Joseph Mitchell’s work for the magazine, becomes a best-seller.
The New Yorker publishes its first double issue.
The Valentine’s Day cover, by Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” depicts a Hasidic Jew embracing a black woman, and provokes a national discussion.
In August, the magazine devotes a sizable part of a double issue to an article about Sylvia Plath, by Janet Malcolm. The following December, Mark Danner’s “The Truth of El Mozote,” an investigation into a notorious massacre in a remote Salvadoran town, takes up most of a single issue, and will win an award from the Overseas Press Club of America.
The New Yorker celebrates its seventieth-anniversary year with a double issue, dated February 20th and 27th.
The New Yorker wins its first National Magazine Award for General Excellence. By the time of its eightieth anniversary, in 2005, it will have won thirty-nine awards in a dozen categories.
The magazine begins publishing two fiction issues a year.
Philip Gourevitch writes about the genocide in Rwanda for The New Yorker. His book “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families,” developed from the article, wins a George Polk Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Joseph Mitchell, called by Calvin Trillin “The New Yorker reporter who set the standard,” dies, after fifty-eight years at the magazine.
Steve Martin publishes his first New Yorker piece, “Yes, in My Own Back Yard.” Other humorists and writers of casuals have included Ian Frazier, Calvin Trillin, Susan Orlean, Frank Gannon, Woody Allen, Christopher Buckley, Nancy Franklin, David Sedaris, and Bruce McCall.
Brendan Gill dies. He published sixteen books in his lifetime; the best-selling “Here at The New Yorker” (1975) is an account of life at the magazine.
David Remnick succeeds Tina Brown, becoming the fifth editor of the magazine.
The New Yorker officially becomes part of Condé Nast Publications, and moves from 20 West Forty-third Street to 4 Times Square.
The artist Saul Steinberg dies. He contributed artwork to The New Yorker for some forty years, and his previously unpublished work continues to appear inside the magazine and on its cover.
The New Yorker celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary.
The magazine wins a National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
The New Yorker hosts its first annual literary & arts festival in Manhattan.
The magazine launches its editorial Web site, newyorker.com.
The New Yorker wins five National Magazine Awards, for General Excellence, Special Interests, Profiles, Essays, and Reviews & Criticism, an unprecedented number of awards for one magazine in one year.
In the week following the events of 9/11, The New Yorker publishes an issue without cartoons.
The New Yorkers circulation passes one million.
The investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh uncovers the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, and tells the story in three consecutive pieces in the spring.
“The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker,” including every cartoon printed since the start of the magazine, is published in a book and on two CDs, edited by the cartoon editor, Robert Mankoff.
Richard Avedon dies in Texas while working on “Democracy,” a portfolio of images of Americans on the eve of the 2004 election.
Philip Hamburger, one of the few writers to have worked under all five of the magazine’s editors, dies.
The New Yorker celebrates its eightieth anniversary.
The New Yorker débuts on Kindle (February) and Nook (December).
January: J. D. Salinger, who first published in The New Yorker in 1946, dies. (That story, “Slight Rebellion Off Madison,” was an early version of “The Catcher in the Rye.”)
April: The New Yorker wins three National Magazine Awards: Photo Portfolio, Public Interest, and Reviews and Criticism.
October: The New Yorker launches its iPad app.
February: The New Yorker publishes Lawrence Wright’s “The Apostate,” about Paul Haggis and the Church of Scientology.
May: The New Yorker wins a National Magazine Award for Public Interest for Atul Gawande’s “Letting Go.”
The New Yorker launches The Political Scene, an online hub for its coverage of the Presidential election campaign.
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