Magazine legend Si Newhouse, publisher of Vogue, dies at 89


NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Chairman and CEO of Advance Publications, Si Newhouse and Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour attend the Bergdorf Goodman celebration during Fashion’s Night Out at Bergdorf Goodman on September 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman)

The magazine industry has lost a legend.

Si Newhouse Jr., the longtime publisher of Condé Nast and driving force behind some of the most recognizable titles on newsstands, died Sunday at 89.

A family spokesperson confirmed his death to Vogue.

“Si Newhouse was the most extraordinary leader,” said Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue. “Wherever he led, I followed, unquestioningly, simply because he put as much faith in me as I had in him.”

Newhouse’s death follows the death this week of another magazine giant: Hugh Hefner, who launched Playboy magazine in 1953.

Samuel Irving Newhouse, who went by “Si,” built the Condé Nast magazine empire, which today includes Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and GQ. They are among the most recognizable publications in the world.

Newhouse, with his brother Donald, owned Advance Publications, which publishes Condé Nast titles and group of newspaper chains around the country. It’s a major stakeholder in Discovery Communications, cable operator Charter Communications and Reddit. The company was founded in Staten Island by their father, a Russian immigrant, in 1922.

Newhouse was born in New York City in 1927 and attended Syracuse University before dropping out to work for his father at Advance.

He began working at Condé in 1961, two years after his father purchased the magazine. In 1975, Newhouse was appointed Condé’s chairman, a position he held for 40 years. He retired as chairman emeritus in 2015.

Newhouse was listed as No. 100 on Bloomberg’s list of billionaires, which reports his worth at $12.7 billion.

Reaction poured in on Sunday to Newhouse’s death from media leaders and Condé writers and editors.

“Today is a day of emotion, of genuine loss, for our family and for Si Newhouse’s extended family at Condé Nast. Si loved Condé Nast. He was proud to publish the finest magazines in the world and to offer exceptional content on every digital platform,” the Newhouse family said in a statement.

Newhouse “ran the business of Condé Nast with a sense of passion, creativity, mystery, and daring,” The New York editor in chief David Remnick wrote Sunday. “So goes the last of the great visionaries of the magazine business,” said outgoing Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

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