Founded in 1949, American Heritage quickly established itself as the leading voice of American history.
Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Catton, American Heritage published distinguished writing by authors such as Stephen Ambrose, Daniel Boorstin, Henry Steele Commanger, Malcolm Cowley, John Dos Passos, John F. Kennedy, William Manchester, Samuel Eliot Morrison, J.H. Plumb, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Barbara Tuchman, and many others.
American Heritage follows the editorial mission its founders spelled out more than 50 years ago: "We believe in good storytelling; that interesting writers can interpret history and restore it to the place it once occupied as the noblest branch of literature."
American Heritage has won many honors, including the National Magazine Award. Generations of Americans grew up with American Heritage and recognize the presence it had in their lives. Comments from readers include:
"My family subscribed to this marvelous publication when I was a girl. I vividly remember the special shelf of white hardback volumes and how we eagerly awaited each new issue."
"A nation's history is its memory, its identity, the embodiment of its values and its sense of self-worth. I know of no other publication in the world that captures the vitality of a nation's history as well as American Heritage does. It is an extraordinary magazine."
--Henry A. Kissinger
By the mid 1960s, the company employed approximately 300 people, with American Heritage as a flagship for the direct marketing of history books. The magazine transitioned to paperback in 1980 and began accepting advertisements two years later. Forbes acquired American Heritage in 1985. Under their management, circulation reached 350,000 and the magazine won prestigious awards. In 1986, American Heritage launched Invention & Technology. After Elevation Partners acquired a 40% interest in Forbes, Inc., the decision was made to sell American Heritage, Inc. in 2007. A few months later, Edwin S. Grosvenor, a long-time CEO of magazine and Internet companies, led a group that purchased the company. The Forbes family retained a 25% interest. American Heritage returned to publishing traditional history by leading historians such as Ed Ayers, Douglas Brinkley, Joseph Ellis, David Hackett Fischer, Eric Foner, Annette Gordon-Reed, Harold Holzer, David McCullough, James McPherson, and Jay Winik.
While publishing, the challenges within education continued to grow. With input and support from its network, American Heritage decided to leverage its assets to identify and be part of the solution. In late 2011, American Heritage Society was established as a nonprofit organization. The Society has since been committed to helping our nationâ€™s educators and students. American Heritage Society is dedicated to enhancing education as a means to improve the future, for individuals and for our country as a whole.