The first biography in over thirty years of Condé Nast, the man who founded the glittering publishing empire that bears his name, creator of Vogue and Vanity Fair, and the main magazine rival to William Randolph Hearst.
Born in 1873 in New York to a father addicted to “get-rich-quick” schemes that would make him abandon the family for thirteen years and impoverish his mother, Condé Nast grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. With just the shirt on his back and the steady friendship of one college friend, he became the highest paid executive in the United States while working for Collier’s Weekly, never forgetting his roots, his mother and sisters.
A shy, good looking man with a burning vision, Condé Nast acquired Vogue in 1909. He believed in quality before quantity in everything. Most unusually, it was sheer talent—irrespective of fame, race, colour, sexual orientation, or creed—that determined if you were fit to work for Vogue or Vanity Fair. Together with his editors, Edna Woolman Chase at Vogue and everyone’s favorite raconteur, Frank Crowninshield at Vanity Fair, they built the first-ever international magazine empire introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience, and the American “can-do” attitude to Europe.