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Quotes of the day: Henry R. Luce

Published Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 3:06 AM EST
Feb 28 2016

Henry Robinson Luce (April 3, 1898 – February 28, 1967), was an American magazine magnate who was called "the most influential private citizen in the America of his day". He launched and closely supervised a stable of magazines that transformed journalism and the reading habits of upscale Americans. Time summarized and interpreted the week's news; Life was a picture magazine of politics, culture, and society that dominated American visual perceptions in the era before television; Fortune explored in depth the economy and the world of business, introducing to executives avant-garde ideas such as Keynesianism; and Sports Illustrated explored the motivations and strategies of sports teams and key players. Counting his radio projects and newsreels, Luce created the first multimedia corporation. He was born in China to missionary parents. He envisaged that the United States would achieve world hegemony, and, in 1941, he declared the 20th century would be the "American Century". (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A missionary deals with all the important people in the community, but he's never really one of them.

Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.

Do you want a cheap, shallow, provincial America? Or do you want an America where the ideal of excellence is at home?

Everything we know, from the atom to the stars, calls us to leave our comfortable habitations which no longer comfort us, and to strike forth on a pilgrimage to a new civilization

I do not know any problem in journalism which can be usefully isolated from the profoundest questions of man's fate.

Not much longer shall we have time for reading lessons of the past. An inexorable present calls us to the defense of a great future.

People in America are, for the most part, poorly informed.

Publishing is a business, but journalism never was and is not essentially a business. Nor is it a profession.

Show me a man who claims he is objective and I'll show you a man with illusions.

The American daydream has ended- or at least we are seeing the end of the American lead-pipe cinch.

There are men who can write poetry, and there are men who can read balance sheets. The men who can read balance sheets cannot write.

Time should make enemies and Life should make friends.

We have thought, and we think, that there is a world of meaning still to be realized from the principles which gave this country birth. A world of meaning for us and, equally, a wealth of meaning for the world.

We tell the truth as we see it.


(February 28 is also the birthday of Ben Hecht and Michel de Montaigne.)

Categories: Henry R. Luce, Quotes of the day


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