Munsey, Frank Andrew mŭn´sē [key]
, 1854–1925, American publisher and author, b. Mercer, Maine. In 1882 he quit a telegraph operator's job in Maine to begin a career as publisher in New York City. He started the Golden Argosy
(1882) as a juvenile magazine, for which he wrote serials himself, changed it to the Argosy
for adults, and supplanted this with Munsey's Magazine
(1889). Munsey cut the price from 25 cents to 10 cents (1893), and the magazine became a success. He bought and sold newspapers and magazines with his fortune. When one of his magazines failed, he scrapped it and started another; he thus disposed of Godey's Magazine, All-Story Magazine,
and many others. Using the wealth he had made from his magazines and other investments, he bought several newspapers, hoping to found a chain of them. However, he lost a great deal on the Boston Journal
and the New York Daily News
(1901). The Washington Times
and the Baltimore Evening News
were among his successful papers. In 1916, he began buying papers to consolidate. He merged the New York Press
in the Sun,
and in 1920 the unsuccessful Sun
in the New York Herald.
He also sold his Baltimore papers to William Randolph Hearst. After he died, most of his fortune went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
See biography by G. Britt, Forty Years, Forty Millions (1935, repr. 1971).
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