On a clear, bone-chilling March day in 1954, a tall, 23-year-old Dartmouth College graduate named John Wills Patten walked into the Chicago office of McGraw-Hill to start work as a trainee. His job: to sell classified advertising for the company's trade magazines. Thus began a wide-ranging career at McGraw-Hill that culminated in a 10-year reign as publisher, then president, of BUSINESS WEEK. Now, 41 years later, Jack is retiring.
Jack's work took him all over the world on a remarkable variety of tasks. He traveled through New England selling advertising for McGraw-Hill's mining magazines. He opened the company's regional office in Denver. And for 13 years, he was based in London as European director for all of McGraw-Hill's magazines--a job that frequently took him to the Middle East as well. After returning to New York, Jack was named publisher of Aviation Week, a dream job for an Air Force veteran who still enjoys flying small planes.
Jack became publisher of BUSINESS WEEK in 1985, presiding over some of the magazine's most successful years. On his watch, our worldwide circulation grew to more than 1 million, the largest of any business magazine. Anticipating the globalization of business, Jack expanded our international edition and helped to launch three foreign-language editions--in China, Russia, and Poland. Last year, BUSINESS WEEK won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the highest honor in our industry.
To those of us who have worked with him, Jack has been more than an accomplished and dedicated publisher. He's an endearing man--warm, quick with a quip, generous in his praise for a job well done, and strong in times of stress. Jack, who played end on the Dartmouth football team, is an avid sportsman who loves to fish, hunt, and play golf (his handicap is 12). He and his wife, Caroline, have two sons, who are also in the magazine business: John sells advertising for National Geographic, and James helps plan special events for BUSINESS WEEK.
Writer Beryl Markham once said: "If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work."
That's Jack--and we shall miss him.