Cyrus H. K. Curtis

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Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis

Birthplace: Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
Death: June 07, 1933 (82)
Wyncote, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Place of Burial: West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Cyrus Libby Curtis and Salome Ann Curtis
Husband of Louisa Curtis and Kate Stanwood Cutter Pillsbury Bok
Father of Mary Louise Bok / Zimbalist

Managed by: Private User
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About Cyrus H. K. Curtis

Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis (June 18, 1850 – June 7, 1933) was an American publisher of magazines and newspapers, including the Ladies' Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post.


Born in Portland, Maine, he was forced to leave high school after his first year when his family lost their home in the Great Fire of Portland in 1866. He held a variety of newspaper and advertising jobs in Portland and Boston before establishing his first publication, weekly titled People's Ledger in Boston in 1872. In 1876, he relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in pursuit of lower printing costs.

His first wife was Louisa Knapp. In 1883 she contributed a one-page supplement to the Tribune and Farmer, a magazine that was published by Curtis. The supplement became an independent publication the following year, with Louisa as the editor of this new magazine. Its original name was The Ladies Home Journal and Practical Housekeeper, but she dropped the last three words in 1886, and it became the Ladies Home Journal. It rapidly became the leading magazine of its type, reaching a circulation of more than one million copies within ten years. Louisa Knapp remained as its editor until she was succeeded by Edward William Bok in 1889. Bok became the son-in-law of Louisa and Cyrus Curtis several years later when he married their daughter, Mary Louise, in 1896. Bok retired from the magazine in 1919, but he made important changes to the magazine that made it even more popular.

Curtis founded the Curtis Publishing Company in 1891; it published the Ladies' Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post, as well as several other magazines. A separate company founded by Curtis, Curtis-Martin Newspapers, Inc., controlled several newspapers, including for a time the major newspapers the Public Ledger, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Evening Post. Problems with managers at the newspapers led to poor financial returns from the publications, and eventually, the newspapers were sold.

During his lifetime, Curtis' businesses were extremely successful. The Ladies Home Journal was for decades the most widely circulating women's magazine in the US and the Post had biggest circulation of any weekly magazine in the world. In 1929, the Post and the Journal together carried 40 percent of all US magazine advertising. One source lists Curtis as the 51st richest person ever, with a fortune of $43.2 billion (adjusted for inflation to 2008 dollars), which according to this source made him richer than either Paul Allen or J. P. Morgan.

Curtis built Lyndon, a Renaissance revival style estate in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, with landscaping designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.

In the summer of 1932, Curtis suffered a heart attack while aboard his yacht, the Lyndonia. While he was recuperating at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, his second wife, Kate Stanwood Cutter Pillsbury, died suddenly. He remained in frail health until he died on June 7, 1933, less than two weeks before his eighty-third birthday, and he was interred in West Laurel Hill Cemetery at Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Soon after his death, most of the buildings on Curtis' estate were demolished and his daughter founded the Curtis Hall Arboretum on the site. In the former headquarters of the Curtis Publishing Company, she founded a commercial center, the Curtis Center, which now houses a conference center, offices, a health club, shops, and restaurants.

Cyrus Curtis was among the initial ten inductees in the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Fame (1999)

Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis

Curtis, Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar, 1850–1933, American publisher and philanthropist, b. Portland, Maine. He started his first periodical, The People's Ledger, in Boston in 1872. Later, in Philadelphia he started a periodical called the Tribune and Farmer. The women's column of this paper was so successful that in 1883 it became The Ladies' Home Journal ; under the editorship of Curtis's son-in-law, Edward W. Bok, it soon became the most important magazine of its kind. Curtis founded (1890) the Curtis Publishing Company and in 1897 purchased the Saturday Evening Post, which, with his editor George Horace Lorimer, he built up to a position of eminence. Country Gentleman was bought in 1911. In 1913 he purchased the Philadelphia Public Ledger. This was the first of his newspaper ventures. Among others purchased were the Philadelphia Press (1920), the New York Evening Post (1924), and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1930). His newspapers were never as successful as his magazines, and he eventually had to sell three of them at a loss. Throughout his life, Curtis donated money to hospitals, museums, and schools. Newspaper Publisher. He founded in 1883 the magazine that became "The Ladies Home Journal". He owned several daily newspapers in his lifetime, included in the New York Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and founded the Curtis Publishing Company.* Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Jul 29 2020, 21:03:31 UTC

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Cyrus H. K. Curtis's Timeline

June 18, 1850
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
August 6, 1876
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
June 7, 1933
Age 82
Wyncote, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA