Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr, who built a vast international publishing empire that included prestigious and influential publications from The New Yorker to Vanity Fair, has died.
He was 89 and died at his Manhattan home after a long illness.
Newhouse, who was known as "Si," and his brother Donald took over Advance Publications, founded by their late father Sam Newhouse, in 1975, and built it into a network embracing 128 publications in 27 global markets.
Having inherited such titles as Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle and House & Garden, Newhouse added a slew of stylish, high-profile publications, including GQ, Wired, Architectural Digest, W, Gourmet and Bon Appetit.
The company controlled a chain of newspapers that reached across the United States, including the Cleveland (Ohio) Plain-Dealer and the St. Louis (Missouri) Globe-Democrat.
And in 1980 Newhouse expanded the family's presence in book publishing with the purchase of Random House. He was known as a shrewd and hard-working businessman but one passionate about the businesses he chose to own.
Newhouse attracted top talent to edit his magazines, from Tina Brown at Vanity Fair to Anna Wintour and Diana Vreeland at Vogue, to Harold Evans, Brown's husband, to launch Conde Nast Traveler and then run Random House.
Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Naste International, said the Condé Nast company was named founder who started the publishing house in the early part of the twentieth century, but that it “could easily be renamed the Si Newhouse Company”.
“He (Si) reinvigorated Vogue, establishing it as the world leader and the most influential magazine brand in the world,” Jonathan Newhouse said.
“He revived Vanity Fair, which became a powerful publishing phenomenon. He rescued a fading weekly, The New Yorker.”
As digital media came to the fore towards the end of Si’s career, he focused on it too, reinventing the magazine brands in digital form while maintaining the highest standards of editorial quality, Newhouse said.
“It was this vision, coupled with commercial acumen, patience and courage, which earned Condé Nast its leadership position in the industry and the admiration of writers, editors and photographers along with the gratitude of millions of readers, even if they didn't know who was behind the shiny magazine they held in their hands,” said Jonathan Newhouse, who was Si Newhouse’s first cousin.
Si Newhouse was one of the richest Americans, with an estimated fortune of nearly $10 billion at the time of his death, and was a renowned philanthropist and art collector, with paintings once said to be worth $100 million.
He is survived by his wife, Victoria, children Samuel and Pamela, his brother Donald and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to Vogue.
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