Famous 20th Century Publishers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Publishers

 1 
Julian Assange
(Computer programmer)

Julian Assange
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Townsville, Australia

Julian Assange made headlines all over the world in 2010 when WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization founded by him, gained international attention after publishing leaks, such as the Afghanistan war logs and Iraq war logs. After dodging arrest for several years, he was finally arrested in 2019 and is currently imprisoned in HM Prison Belmarsh.

 2 
Hugh Hefner
(Founder of Playboy Magazine)

Hugh Hefner
6
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 27, 2017

As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.

 3 
Martha Stewart
(Businesswoman)

Martha Stewart
4
Birthdate: August 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

The founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Martha Stewart has found success with several business ventures. She is also the publisher of a magazine called Martha Stewart Living and has written many bestselling books. Although she was convicted of charges pertaining to the ImClone stock trading case, she made a comeback and became chairwoman of her company.

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 4 
Mark Twain
(One of The Greatest American Writers of All Time)

Mark Twain
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florida, Missouri, United States
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

 5 
Peaches Geldof
(English columnist)

Peaches Geldof
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: April 7, 2014
Peaches Geldof, daughter of singer Bob Geldof and TV presenter Paula Yates, wrote for publications such as Elle Girl and The Guardian. She later presented her own TV shows, such as Peaches Geldof: Teen America, and modeled. Geldof was a Scientologist. She died of a heroin overdose at age 25.

Larry Flynt
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lakeville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died: February 10, 2021
Larry Flynt, owner of Larry Flynt Publications and editor of Hustler magazine, gained fame after publishing some photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sunbathing naked on a vacation. He was paralyzed from the waist down after an assassination attempt in 1978. He has also faced many legal battles related to obscenity.

 7 
Katharine Graham
(Publisher)

Katharine Graham
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 17, 2001
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 8 
Jeffrey Katzenberg
(Businessman)

Jeffrey Katzenberg
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 9 
Carter Woodson
(Historian)

Carter Woodson
4
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Canton, Virginia, United States
Died: April 3, 1950

Historian Carter Woodson was is remembered for pioneering Black studies in schools and colleges. He began the Negro History Week, which is now celebrated as the Black History Month. Poverty had pushed him to work in the coal mines initially, and he couldn’t join high school before 20.

 10 
Bennett Cerf
(Publisher)

Bennett Cerf
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Died: August 27, 1971

 11 
Bob Guccione
(Founded the adult magazine Penthouse in 1965)

Bob Guccione
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: October 20, 2010

 12 
Jim Lee
(Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics)

Jim Lee
6
Birthdate: August 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

Korean-American comic-book artist Jim Lee began his career with Marvel and then soared to fame with his X-Men series. Though initially trained in psychology, he skipped medical school and became a comic writer instead. Apart from co-founding Image Comics, he also created WildStorm, which he sold to DC later.

 13 
Jann Wenner
(Publisher)

Jann Wenner
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Jann Wenner is an American magazine mogul best known as the co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. He is also credited with co-founding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other popular publications like Outside. During the 1970s and 1980s, Wenner played a key role in popularizing several writers like Greil Marcus, Hunter S. Thompson, and Cameron Crowe.

 14 
Alison Tyler
(Writer)

Alison Tyler
4
Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, USA

Alison Tyler is the pen name of an American writer, editor, and publisher. The publisher of erotica, Tyler is credited with writing over 20 explicit novels. She has also edited over 60 erotic anthologies and is credited with founding her own publishing company called Pretty Things Press. Her work, which focuses on erotic themes, has been translated into many languages.

 15 
Phil Graham
(Publisher)

Phil Graham
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Terry, South Dakota, United States
Died: August 3, 1963

 16 
Jerry Siegel
(Comics artist, Writer)

Jerry Siegel
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland
Died: January 28, 1996

 17 

Jeff Vandermeer
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, United States

Jeff Vandermeer is an American author, literary critic, and editor. Dubbed the King of Weird Fiction by The New Yorker, VanderMeer's works are renowned for eluding genre classifications as he often incorporates elements of postmodernism, New Weird, eco-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction into his writing. He has won many prestigious awards like World Fantasy Awards, Locus Award, and Nebula Award.

 18 

Robert Bernard Sherman
4
Birthdate: December 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, US
Died: March 6, 2012

 19 
Kevin Eastman
(Comics artist, Publisher, Screenwriter)

Kevin Eastman
4
Birthdate: May 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States

 20 
Malcolm Forbes
(Businessperson)

Malcolm Forbes
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: February 24, 1990

 21 

Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maple, Vaughan, Canada
Died: June 9, 1964

 22 
Will Eisner
(Cartoonist)

Will Eisner
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 2005

 23 

Porter Stansberry
4
Birthdate: February 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Not known

 24 
Randolph Apperson Hearst
(Business People)

Randolph Apperson Hearst
4
Birthdate: December 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: December 18, 2000

 25 
Rupert Murdoch
(Media Tycoon)

Rupert Murdoch
4
Birthdate: March 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corp owns hundreds of publishing outlets and TV channels around the world, including The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Fox News. His media houses have been accused of hacking the phones of celebrities and public citizens. He has also had to face allegations of bribery and corruption in the UK and the US.

 26 
Ford Madox Ford
(Novelist)

Ford Madox Ford
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26, 1939

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 27 
Joe Simon
(Writer)

Joe Simon
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
Died: December 14, 2011

 28 

Richard Elfman
4
Birthdate: March 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Watts, California, United States

 29 

Elbert Hubbard
4
Birthdate: June 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloomington, Illinois, United States
Died: May 7, 1915

 30 
Walter Annenberg
(Businessman)

Walter Annenberg
3
Birthdate: March 13, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 1, 2002

 31 

Jussi Adler-Olsen
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Jussi Adler-Olsen is a Danish writer, editor, publisher, and entrepreneur. Apart from being a popular figure in Denmark, Adler-Olsen has also enjoyed success in countries like the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. His novels have been sold in over 40 languages and some of his works have been adapted into successful films.  

 32 
John W. Henry
(Businessman)

John W. Henry
4
Birthdate: September 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quincy, Illinois, United States

 33 
Hugo Gernsback
(Inventor)

Hugo Gernsback
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Died: August 19, 1967

 34 
Chris Anderson
(Entrepreneur)

Chris Anderson
4
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Pakistan

 35 

George DiCaprio
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States

Writer, editor, and publisher, George DiCaprio, is known for his work in the underground comix world. He was a popular figure in the 1970s and published comics like Greaser Comics and Forbidden Knowledge. His son, Leonardo DiCaprio, is a famous actor. George played a significant role in his son’s early career and used to screen scripts for him.

 36 
Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
(Entrepreneur, Writer)

Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greeneville, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 21, 1965

 37 

Frederik Pohl
3
Birthdate: November 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 2, 2013

 38 
Iain Dale
(Broadcaster)

Iain Dale
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

 39 
Richard Desmond
(Publisher, Autobiographer, Businessperson)

Richard Desmond
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead

 40 
Stan Lee
(Comic book writer)

Stan Lee
0
Birthdate: December 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: November 12, 2018

Stan Lee was one of the most popular comic book writers, thanks to his appearances in several Marvel movies. He is well-known as the co-creator of many famous superheroes, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Hulk. He pioneered a naturalistic method to writing superhero comics and challenged the Comics Code Authority, which ultimately led to changes in its policies.

 41 
John H. Johnson
(Publisher, Entrepreneur)

John H. Johnson
3
Birthdate: January 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkansas City, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 8, 2005

 42 
Richard M. Sherman
(Songwriters)

Richard M. Sherman
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 43 

Ishmael Reed
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

 44 
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
(Officer, Poet, Writer, Publisher, Painter, Journalist)

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
4
Birthdate: March 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Yonkers

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zima, Russia
Died: April 1, 2017

Russian author Yevgeny Yevtushenko, known for works such as Wild Berries and Bratsk Station, is also remembered for his advocacy of artistic freedom in Russian literature rather than a reliance on political overtones. Following the death of Stalin, he focused on using unadulterated language and lyrics with a personal touch.

 46 
Eugene Meyer
(Financier)

Eugene Meyer
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 17, 1959

 47 
Jim Shooter
(Comics artist, Publisher, Screenwriter)

Jim Shooter
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pittsburgh

Joseph Medill Patterson Albright
3
Birthdate: 1937 AD
Birthplace: United States

 49 
Felix Dennis
(Publisher)

Felix Dennis
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England
Died: June 22, 2014

 50 
G. Willow Wilson
(Journalist, Writer, Comics writer, Science fiction writer)

G. Willow Wilson
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Jersey