Briton Hadden (February 18, 1898 – February 27, 1929) was the
co-founder of Time magazine with his Yale classmate Henry Luce. He was
Time's first editor and the inventor of its revolutionary writing
style, known as Timestyle. Though he died at 31, he was considered one
of the most influential journalists of the twenties, a master
innovator and stylist, and an iconic figure of the Jazz Age.
1 Early life
2 Early career
3 Founding of Time Magazine
4 Illness and death
7 External links
Hadden got his start in newspaper writing at Brooklyn's Poly Prep
Country Day School, where he wrote for the school magazine, the Poly
Prep, and distributed a hand-written, underground sheet to his
classmates that was called The Daily Glonk. Moving to the Hotchkiss
School, Hadden wrote for the Hotchkiss Record, a weekly newspaper.
After an intense competition, Hadden was elected the chairman of the
newspaper and Luce the assistant managing editor. Hadden then turned
the Record from a weekly into a bi-weekly.
At Yale, Hadden was elected to the staff of the
Yale Daily News
Yale Daily News and
later served as the paper's chairman twice (1917-1918 and 1919-1920).
Luce was the News' managing editor the second time. While at Yale,
Hadden was a brother of
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Delta Kappa Epsilon (Phi chapter) and a member
of Skull and Bones.:150 It was during a break from school, when
Hadden and Luce traveled south to Camp Jackson, South Carolina as ROTC
officer candidates, that they began seriously discussing the idea of
creating a magazine that would condense all the news of the week into
a brief and easily readable "digest."
After receiving his bachelor's degree from Yale in 1920, Hadden wrote
for the New York World, where he was mentored by one of New York's
most famous and accomplished newspaper editors, Herbert Bayard Swope.
In late 1921, Hadden wrote to Luce, who had recently been let go by
the Chicago Daily News, and suggested that they both go to work for
the Baltimore News. In Baltimore, they spent their nights working on
the idea of a news magazine, which, at first, they planned to call
Founding of Time Magazine
In 1923, Hadden and Luce co-founded Time magazine along with Robert
Livingston Johnson and another Yale classmate. Hadden and Luce served
alternating years as the company's president, but Hadden was the
editor for four and a half of the magazine's first six years, and was
considered the "presiding genius." Johnson served as the magazine's
vice president and advertising director. In its earliest years the
magazine was edited in an abandoned beer brewery, subsequently moving
to Cleveland in 1925, and returning to New York in 1927. For the next
year and several months, both Time and
The New Yorker
The New Yorker were edited at
25 W. 45th Street in Manhattan. Thus the two greatest magazine editors
of the 1920s —
Briton Hadden and
Harold Ross — worked in the same
Illness and death
In December 1928, Hadden became ill. He died two months later, most
likely of streptococcus viridans, which had entered his bloodstream,
causing septicemia and ultimately the failure of his heart. Before he
died, Hadden signed a will, which left all of his stock in Time Inc.
to his mother and forbade his family from selling those shares for 49
years. Within a year of Hadden's death, Luce formed a syndicate, which
succeeded in gaining hold of Hadden's stock.
Luce took Hadden's name off the masthead of Time within two weeks of
his death. In the next 38 years, he delivered more than 300 speeches
around the world, mentioning Hadden four times. Luce acquired control
of Hadden's papers, and he kept them at Time Inc., where no one
outside the company was allowed to view the papers as long as Luce
lived. Throughout his life, Luce repeatedly claimed credit for
Hadden's ideas in public speeches and in Time magazine.
Luce presided over the growth of the Time-Life empire, and donated
funds towards the construction of a building at 202 York Street in New
Haven, Connecticut that would eventually become the Yale Daily News'
new home. The office is today called the
Briton Hadden Memorial
Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the
Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown.
^ Warburton, Albert (Winter 1962). "Robert L. Johnson Hall Dedicated
at Temple University" (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 48
no. 4. p. 111.
^ Wilner, Isaiah (2007). The man time forgot : a tale of genius,
betrayal, and the creation of Time magazine (1st ed.). New York:
Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060505509.
Time Magazine biography[permanent dead link]
Q & A: Isaiah Wilner Time
ISNI: 0000 0001 0978 9034