Joseph Jacobs Thorndike Jr.

Joseph Jacobs Thorndike Jr.'s picture

Joseph Jacobs Thorndike (1913 – 2005) was Managing Editor of Life for three years in the late 1940s, and a co-founder of American Heritage and Horizon magazines. In June 1934, he started work at Time magazine, writing People, Miscellany and Education articles. He was asked by Henry Luce to join a group planning a new picture magazine, and when Life debuted in 1936, Thorndike, though only 23, was an associate editor of the magazine. Circulation at American Heritage rose to over 300,000. American Heritage sold to McGraw-Hill in 1970, to Forbes in 1986, and to Edwin S. Grosvenor, in 2007. In his early seventies, Thorndike served for two years as head of The American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, a group of writers and scholars who are polled on acceptable English usage. In 1993, Thorndike published his last book, The Coast: A Journey Down the Atlantic Shore.

Articles by this Contributor

August/september 1984

Eight generations back, the author discovered a forebear hanging on the family tree