My grandfather, Thomas J. C. Martyn, has won the 2015 Axiom Business Book Awards bronze medal for his memoir of how he founded Newsweek magazine – Inside the Founding of Newsweek: How a Hot-Tempered, One-Legged R.A.F. Pilot Launched an American Media Giant.
The Axiom Business Book Awards are the largest and most respected critical guidepost for business books in today’s new world of publishing. These prestigious and competitive awards are presented in 21 business categories and serve as the premier list to help readers discover new and innovative works.
Inside the Founding of Newsweek: How a Hot-Tempered, One-Legged R.A.F. Pilot Launched an American Media Giant won a bronze medal in the biography/memoir, a notable achievement that demonstrates the strong interest in the history of media, journalism and entrepreneurship.
My grandfather, who died in 1980, wanted his son – my father – and me to publish his memoir when I brought it back in my suitcase after visiting him in Brazil at age 16 in 1975. Instead the manuscript languished in my father’s closet for 30 years, resurfacing after his death in 2009.
Getting my grandfather’s book published was a gargantuan endeavor (though not nearly as big as founding a national news magazine!). Among other things, I organized the book and wrote the foreword
and afterword. I am thrilled that not only is my grandfather’s memoir published, but that it has received this recognition from Axiom Business Book Awards.
A former wartime pilot and Time magazine’s first foreign editor, Thomas J. C. Martyn had a vision: to establish a weekly news magazine that would rival Time, which in the 1930s was the only magazine of its kind in the United States. Martyn succeeded—so resoundingly that Newsweek has prospered for over 80 years, first as a stalwart of print media and now in the digital era, as well. Newsweek was Martyn’s brainchild, brought to life through his own perseverance and ingenuity. So it came as a bitter blow when a series of rivalries and disputes led to his ousting from the Newsweek board just four years after its first edition.
The memoir depicts his efforts to get Newsweek off the ground; his meetings with powerful men such as President Roosevelt and Henry Ford; and his own idiosyncrasies that may have played a part in the rift with the Newsweek board. This classic entrepreneur’s story reveals the struggles and triumphs of getting a national magazine off the ground during the depths of the Great Depression
My grandfather was a tenacious entrepreneur with incredible vision, as well as an accomplished journalist, who started Newsweek at the nadir of the Great Depression in 1933. I think he would be incredibly proud that his memoir has won this prestigious award and to know that his story is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Since 2002, Anne Alexander has been helping business owners around the U.S. and globally to grow and manage their businesses.