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DeWitt Wallace

AKA William Roy DeWitt Wallace

Born: 12-Nov-1889
Birthplace: St. Paul, MN
Died: 30-Mar-1981
Location of death: Mount Kisco, NY
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, High Winds Estate, Mount Kisco, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Publisher

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Reader's Digest

Military service: US Army (WWI, injured)

DeWitt Wallace was unemployed when he and his wife, Lila Wallace, published the first issue of Reader's Digest out of their basement apartment in 1922. The magazine was initially composed exclusively of reprints, often abridged, from other periodicals, and it later became known for its abridged novels and original material steeped in traditional American values. He said that the idea for a compendium of reading material first occurred to him while he had access to only very limited reading materials while recuperating from injuries suffered as a soldier in World War I. By the late 1940s and for decades thereafter, Reader's Digest was the world's best-selling English-language magazine, until it was overtaken by TV Guide in the late 1990s.

Father: (professor at Macalester College, St. Paul MN)
Wife: Lila Bell Acheson (m. 1921)

    High School: Northfield Mount Hermon School, Gill, MA (1907)
    University: Macalester College (attended 1907-09)
    University: University of California at Berkeley (1909-11)

    Reader's Digest Founder (1922-)
    Dutch Treat Club (1936-81)
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1972

Appears on the cover of:
Time, 10-Dec-1951, DETAILS: "The Press, BYLINE: The Common Touch" (with Lila Wallace)

Is the subject of books:
Their's Was the Kingdom -- Lila and Dewitt Wallace and the Story of the Reader's Digest, 1995, BY: John Heidenry, DETAILS: W.W. Norton


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