In 56 years only two men have served Time Inc. as editor-in-chief. The first, Henry R. Luce, founded this company. His successor, Hedley Donovan, gave it a second generation of editorial growth. On June 1 he retires from the company.
This is an article from the June 4, 1979 issue
Donovan came to Time Inc. with a magna cum laude degree from the University of Minnesota, plus an Oxford degree acquired as a Rhodes scholar. He put in five years as a newspaperman in Washington, then most of World War II in the U.S. Navy. A 1945 personnel memo details these and other qualifications, going on to note that "young Donovan is a handsome gentleman of 31, with blue eyes, a level gaze, a deep voice and a serious manner enlivened by a quick smile." None of that description needs to be changed today except, inevitably and unbelievably, 31 has become 65.
Beginning as a writer on FORTUNE in December 1945, Donovan moved up to managing editor less than eight years later. In 1959 he was appointed editorial director of Time Inc. and its editor-in-chief in 1964.
Since then his guidance and governance have been reflected in each of our magazines and in Time-Life Books and The Washington Star as well. He helped transform Time Inc. from the largely personal domain of its brilliant founder into a publicly held, diverse company while preserving, we feel, its essential spirit and broadening its range. With great strength of character and a formidable intellect, he guided our publications through the bitterly divisive years of Vietnam and Watergate, reaffirming or changing editorial policy.
It was under his leadership that Time Inc., in a remarkable six-year burst of creative activity, gave birth to two new magazines, MONEY and PEOPLE, rebirth to LIFE and turned FORTUNE from a monthly into a fortnightly.
Time Inc. has a long tradition of separating editorial responsibilities and business management. The editor-in-chief reports not to the chairman or president of this company but to the board of directors, which can exercise no immediate editorial supervision. Hedley Donovan's immense authority—sometimes delegated, never diluted—has kept that tradition inviolate. But while it was unthinkable to poach on his editorial territory, his own profound judgment in non-editorial matters was often called upon.
Succeeding Hedley Donovan as Time Inc.'s editor-in-chief will be Henry Grunwald, Viennese-born and TIME-nurtured. Grunwald began working for The Weekly Newsmagazine as a copy boy, while still an undergraduate at New York University, in 1944. The following year he became a writer, advanced to senior editor—the youngest ever—at age 28, and to managing editor in 1968. After a nine-year tenure, during which the magazine changed considerably, he was appointed one of two corporate editors.
The other corporate editor was Ralph Graves, who now becomes Time Inc.'s editorial director—in effect, deputy to Grunwald. Graves, who joined us immediately after graduating from Harvard in 1948, was managing editor of LIFE between 1969 and 1972, and held other important editorial as well as publishing positions.
The legacy of the Donovan years is a rich one, most obviously in staff and resources, most importantly in thoughtfulness, courage and excellence. I am confident that Grunwald will not only safeguard that legacy, but with the help of Graves and unmatched editorial talent on this and every other Time Inc. magazine, will further enhance it.
Chairman of the Board