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In February, 1930--a mere four months after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 heralded the onset of the Great Depression, Time magazine co-founder Henry Luce dared to launch a bold new business publication entitled Fortune.  He wrote in a memo to the board of directors at Time, Inc., "We will not be over-optimistic. We will recognize that this business slump may last as long as an entire year."

Yet, this misassessment of the Great Depression is overshadowed by the grand audacity with which Luce threw off his conservative tone to release a first issue priced at what many thought a ridiculous $1.  Comparatively, the Sunday New York Times of the day cost a nickel.  Many believe that the price, along with the quality of the product, created for readers a mystique that great value lurked in those pages.  "The first issue, like those that followed for more than a decade, was like no magazine anyone had ever seen--an expansive 11 inches by 14 inches, its pages decorated by the great photographers and illustrators of the time, the paper itself so thick and creamy you could almost taste it."  "It read like no other magazine as well."

"What he and his editors sought to do was nothing less than explain the way the world worked."  And, since that unlikely beginning, the impact of Fortune's articles and its rankings have been engrained into the very lexicon of corporate America.
Quotes excerpted from Daniel Orkent's article, "How the world really works." appearing in Fortune, 19 September 2005.

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