SUCCESS Turns “Five”

SUCCESS magazine has just turned 5.

I know what you’re thinking– isn’t SUCCESS over a hundred years old? SUCCESS magazine was founded in 1897 by Orison Swett Marden, but, like many magazines of the time, closed down during the Great Depression despite its tremendous growth at the turn of the century.

A few failed iterations and over a hundred years later, the SUCCESS you know and love is the SUCCESS that turns 5 today. Many of you know that founder Orison Swett Marden was a leader in the New Thought Movement and Think and Grow Rich author Napoleon Hill was another prominent leader in SUCCESS’s formative years. There are, however, a few notable discoveries I found when researching vintage magazine copies dating back to the early 1900s.

In the February 1906 issue, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, wrote an article for SUCCESS titled, ‘Henry Irving’s Fight for Fame.’ Henry Irving was the most popular actor of the time and Bram Stoker was his acting and business manager. One has faded from the limelight, while the other lives on in the pages of his literary masterpieces and in the imaginations of his fans. Popularity doesn’t last, but a legacy does.

An early contributor to SUCCESS was Zona Gale, the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Well-educated and adventurous at a time when women were usually neither, Gale was active in championing “a problem she returned to repeatedly in her novels: women’s frustration at their lack of opportunities,” an issue that has improved, yet still persists today.

Author, soldier and SUCCESS contributor Thomas Wentworth Higginson led a storied life devoted to fighting for the rights of African-Americans, women and other disenfranchised people. He is, however, best remembered as Emily Dickinson’s literary mentor. Mentorship and coaching are prominent themes in SUCCESS, but the story of how Higginson coached the work of a painfully shy and inexperienced Dickinson into one of the most celebrated collections of American poetry is possibly our best example yet.

Despite our remarkable history, SUCCESS’s proudest accomplishment is serving you, the reader. Publisher Darren Hardy says it best in this email he sent to our staff:

“I just left a ballroom of people who told me their stories about how YOUR work, how SUCCESS, and all that we do, has changed their lives and the lives of those they serve and live with…. You have accomplished a feat unimaginable the last five years. In a recession, when print publications are dying, YOU made this an admired, award-winning publication, web platform and enterprise that, most importantly, has profoundly and positively impacted the lives of millions of people through the ripple effect over the last five years.”

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives.



Jennifer Chang is the former associate editor for SUCCESS. She has a corgi puppy who has more Instagram followers than a dog should have. Tweet or follow her thoughts and favorite links at @jenzchang.

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