Thomas Stanley "T. S." Matthews (January 16, 1901 – January 4, 1991)
was an American magazine editor, journalist, and author. He served as
editor of Time magazine from 1949 to 1953.
4 Private life and death
6 See also
8 External sources
Thomas Stanley Matthews was born on January 16, 1901, in Cincinnati,
Ohio. His father was New Jersey bishop, Paul Clement Matthews; and his
mother was Elsie Procter, the Procter & Gamble heiress. His
grandfather was Stanley Matthews. He had two sisters, Margaret (later
Flinsch) and Dorothea (later Dooling).
He earned a first bachelor's degree from
Princeton University in 1922
and a second from New College at
Oxford University in 1925.
He joined the staff of
The New Republic
The New Republic in 1925. There, literary
Edmund Wilson encouraged him to write for the magazine. By
1928, he became an assistant editor and by 1929 an associate
He joined Time in 1929 as book editor and moved up to assistant
managing editor, executive editor, and managing editor. (In 1940,
William Saroyan cites him as one of two managing editors at Time with
Manfred Gottfried.) Finally, he succeeded Time co-founder Henry
Luce as the magazine's editor, serving in that position from 1949 to
Following disagreements with senior management at Time over the 1952
presidential election—which largely concerned the coverage of the
Democratic nominee, his Princeton classmate Adlai Stevenson
II—Matthews moved to England to study a British version of the
magazine. When Time did not carry through, he remained in Britain.
There, he wrote numerous books and poetry, including an autobiography
and a book on T. S. Eliot. He also reviewed books for the New York
The New York Times credited Matthews with "bringing depth and
refinement to the news weekly in a 25-year career." It described him
as a "lean, athletic editor" with "clipped, quiet speech was filled
with obscure literary references" who rid the magazine of its
double-barreled adjectives, puns and backward sentences."
Whittaker Chambers, who started after and ended before Matthews at
Time, summarized as follows: "T. S. Matthews' contribution to the
humanity of Time, both in the intellectual and personal sense of the
word, cannot be overstated."
However, W.A. Swanberg, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography
Luce and His Empire, criticized Matthews for emphasizing the
readability of Time at the expense of objectivity. “For him to be
managing editor of America's most politically oriented and
propagandist 'newsmagazine' was as if
F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald were
Secretary of State," Swanberg wrote. Swanberg also characterized
Matthews as being “as close to being politically obtuse as such an
otherwise cultivated man could be.”
Princeton University holds his papers, which include writings,
notebooks, correspondence, files from Time (1940s, 1950s, including
the Time-in-Britain project), subject files, legal and financial
correspondence, photographs, and printed material from 1910 to 1991.
These include datebooks 1950-1991. Correspondents include John
Aldridge, Whittaker Chambers, T. S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot, Robert
Graves, Eleanor Green, Laura (Riding) Jackson, Schuyler Jackson, Len
Lye, Laurie Lee, William Piel, Jr., V. S. Pritchett, Lyman Spitzer,
and Adlai Stevenson.
Private life and death
Matthews was married three times, to: Juliana Stevens Cuyler, Martha
Gellhorn, and Pamela Firth Peniakoff. He married Gellhorn in
1954 and lived with her in London; they divorced in 1963.
He died of lung cancer in Cavendish, England. Surviving him at the
time were his wife Pamela, four sons (Thomas S. Matthews, Jr., John P.
C. Matthews, Paul C. Matthews, W. Alexander P. Matthews), two sisters
(Margaret Flinsch and Dorothea Dooling), eight grandchildren, and two
The Library of Congress holds the following books by Matthews:
To the Gallows I must go (1931)
Sugar Pill: An Essay on Newspapers (1957, 1959)
Name and Address: An Autobiography (1960, 1961)
O My America! Notes on a Trip (1962)
Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of
T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot (1974)
Jacks or Better: A Narrative (1977)
Under the Influence: Recollections of Robert Graves, Laura Riding, and
Friends (1979, 1983)
Angels Unawares: Twentieth-Century Portraits (1985)
Articles appearing online include:
"Football Morals" (November 26, 1976)
Poems appearing online include:
"After Such Knowledge: T.S. Eliot" (undated)
The New Republic
^ a b c d e f g "
T. S. Matthews Papers 1910-1991". Princeton
University. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
^ a b c d e f g h Foderaro, Lisa W. (6 January 1991). "T. S. Matthews,
89, Ex-Editor of Time and Author". New York Times. Retrieved 15
^ a b c d "T. S. Matthews, Ex-Time Editor". Chicago Tribune (via New
York Times News Service). 10 January 1991. Retrieved 15 September
^ Saroyan, William (1940). Love's Old Sweet Song: A Play in Three
Acts. Samuel French. p. 72. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
^ Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House.
^ a b Swanberg, W. A. (1972-09-01). Luce and his empire. Scribner.
^ "I didn't like sex at all". Salon. 12 August 2006. Retrieved 23
^ Matthews, T. S. (26 November 1976). "Football Morals". Commentary
Magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
^ Matthews, T. S. "After Such Knowledge: T.S. Eliot". CliveJames.com.
Retrieved 23 February 2012.
Princeton: T. S. Matthew Papers
Princeton Weekly Bulletin: image of Matthews
Getty Images: photo Matthews among TIME staff ca. 1948
Wheatmark Press: painting of Matthews
Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: R