A Letter from the Chairman: Aug. 31, 1987

Henry Grunwald's career reads like the script of a Frank Capra movie. At 15, he fled his native Vienna after the Anschluss swept Austria into Hitler's Reich. He honed his English in movie theaters while attending New York University and started at TIME as a copyboy. Now at retirement age, he is stepping down as editor-in-chief of Time Inc., only the third person in 64 years to hold this position.

Right from the start Grunwald attracted notice. His first boss at TIME remembered him as "driven, willing to work terribly hard." Others soon noted what graced that drive: a capacious intellect,...