HE WAGES WAR ON WEAKNESS
How A Puny Orphan Through His Own Winning Fight For Strength, Developed the World's Most Vital Editorial Technique.
Back in the nineties a pamphlet appeareda circular, nothing morerecom-mending an exerciser owned by an obscure health enthusiast named Macfadden. On it were emblazoned the words, "Weakness a Crime: Don't Be a Criminal!" . . . In this humble beginning, the world first met the editorial technique of Macfadden. . . . Few people think of Macfadden as the great editor. The world knows Macfadden, the crusader, because of his fights against weakness, against prudery, for sane foods, for sane living. Macfadden today inspires more people than any other magazine editor. His followers are millions. . . . By its own right each Macfadden Magazine is a constructive force with worth-while peoplebecause it mirrors life as it is lived today.
"Sponsored by Physical Culture, the first of the family of Macfadden Magazines," this full-page self-eulogy of Bernarr ("Body Love") Macfadden appeared in the New York Times & Herald Tribune and the Chicago Tribune last week. For many of the 130,000,000 U. S. citizens who do not read his Physical Culture, Liberty, True Story, True Romances, Love and Romance, True Experiences, Movie Mirror, Radio Mirror, Photoplay, True Detective Mysteries, Famous Detective Cases and Master Detective, the advertisement was the first occasion on which this wiry-haired, wrinkle-faced little character had made a major splash since Depression, during which he lost his wife through divorce and his tabloid newspaper. Nevertheless, as many of the 8,241,546 people who do patronize Macfadden publications were well aware, Bernarr Macfadden at 68 was going better and stronger than at any time since he stopped peddling a patent muscle-developer and began exploiting his genius for the common touch in the publishing business. In the past five years Bernarr Macfadden has profitably continued to mirror life as he sees it on a number of fronts.
Hard times merely put Bernarr Macfadden on his mettle. In 1931, at the depth of Depression, he opened the first of five Penny Restaurants in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago, Washington, D. C. First promulgated by Macfadden in the 1907 Panic, the chain sells minimum victuals at minimum prices. Last week Macfadden restaurant figures showed a deficit of only $5,610.40 for the first half of 1936. Also acquired in 1931 was Liberty, now the big façade of the Macfadden publishing structure. Publishers Joseph Medill Patterson and Robert Rutherford McCormick could not make it pay. Under the direction of kinetic Editor Charles Fulton Oursler,* who runs the magazine mostly by teletype from West Falmouth, Mass., Liberty (circulation: 2,505,302) is now believed to be in the black.