Condé Montrose Nast
(March 26, 1873 – September 19, 1942) Nast was the founder of Condé Nast Publications, a leading American magazine publisher known for publications such as Vanity Fair, Vogue and The New Yorker.
Named for his uncle Condé L. Benoist, Condé Montrose Nast was born
in New York City to a family of Midwestern origin. His father,
William F. Nast (son of the German-born Methodist leader William Nast) was an
unsuccessful broker and inventor who had also served as U.S. attaché in Berlin.
His mother, the former Esther A. Benoist, was a daughter of pioneering St. Louis
banker Louis Auguste Benoist and a descendant of a prominent
French family that emigrated to Canada and
thence to Missouri.
He had three siblings: Louis, Ethel, and Estelle.
Nast’s aunt financed his studies at Georgetown University,
where he graduated in 1894. He went on to earn a law
degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1897.
Nast did not take well to law, and upon graduation he got a job
working for a former classmate as advertising manager for Collier’s
Weekly (1898–1907). Over the course of a decade he increased
the advertising revenue 100-fold. He published books and Lippincott’s
Monthly Magazine with Robert M. McBride (McBride, Nast & Co.).
After leaving Collier’s Nast bought Vogue, then a small
New York society magazine, transforming it into America’s
premier fashion magazine.
He then turned Vanity Fair into a sophisticated general interest publication,
with the help of his friend Frank Crowninshield, who was editor and a major influence for
more than 20 years. It published many new and high quality writers, as well as
displaying reproductions of modern art.
Nast eventually owned a stable of magazines that included
House & Garden, British, French, and Argentine editions of Vogue,
Jardins des Modes, and Glamour (the last magazine added to the group while he was alive).
While other publishers simply focused on increasing the number of magazines in
circulation, Nast targeted groups of readers by income level or common
interest. Among his staffers were Edna Woolman Chase,
who served as the editor in chief of Vogue; and
Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.
Nearly ruined in the Great Depression as many others were, Nast
spent his last years struggling to regain his early prosperity.
Condé Nast died in 1942 and is interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne,
New York. His grave is located in Section 25 of the cemetery,
near Babe Ruth and Billy Martin.
Condé Nast Publications:
List of Current Publications:
# Nutrition Data
# Teen Vogue
# Architectural Digest
# Golf Digest
# Golf World
# Vanity Fair
# Bon Appétit
# Condé Nast Traveler
# Hotel Chatter
# Vegas Chatter
# Ars Technica
# The New Yorker