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James H. McGraw

AKA James Herbert McGraw

Born: 17-Dec-1860 [1]
Birthplace: Harmony, NY
Died: 21-Feb-1948
Location of death: San Francisco, CA
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Evergreen Cemetery, Morristown, NJ

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Publisher
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Co-Founder of the McGraw-Hill Companies

James H. McGraw worked as a teacher in upstate New York, and augmented his income by selling subscriptions and advertising for a trade periodical, American Journal of Railway Appliance. In 1885 he spent his life savings --- $2,500 -- to become part-owner of the publication, and three years later he bought the business outright. After making a quick success of this and several other trade journals, he formed The McGraw Publishing Company in 1889 as a holding company for his magazines. The firm soon expanded into book publishing, and in 1909 McGraw's book division was merged with the book-publishing arm of John A. Hill's Hill Publishing Company, while both companies remained competitors in periodicals publishing. The combined business, McGraw-Hill Book Company, absorbed the original companies' periodicals division in 1917. In 1929, McGraw-Hill bought a struggling business-themed monthly called The Magazine of Business and re-launched it as a weekly, publishing its first issue (called The Business Week) six weeks before the stock market crash that began the Great Depression. Despite his great success in publishing, McGraw frequently said that he had enjoyed his time as a teacher more than anything in his business career.


[1] 1861, according to some sources.

Brother: Louis McGraw (McGraw Publishing executive, b. 1880, d. 1920)
Wife: Mildred Florence Whittlesey McGraw (b. 18-Apr-1869, m. 8-Jun-1887)
Son: Harold Whittlesey McGraw (b. 1-Sep-1889)
Son: James H. McGraw, Jr. ("Jay", McGraw-Hill executive, b. 9-May-1893)
Son: Curtis Whittlesey McGraw ("Hack", McGraw-Hill executive, b. 13-Oct-1895, d. 10-Sep-1953)
Son: Donald Cushing McGraw (b. 21-May-1897)

    High School: Fredonia State Normal School, Fredonia, NY (1884)
    Teacher: Corfu Union School, Corfu, NY (1884-89)
    Administrator: Madison Academy, Madison, NJ (Founder, 1904)

    McGraw-Hill President (1916-28)
    McGraw-Hill VP (1909-16)
    McGraw Publishing Company Founder & President (1889-1917)
    Young Men's Christian Association Madison, NJ


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