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.
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.
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.
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.
William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.
9 Jim Lee
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.
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.
12 Bennett Cerf
13 Alison Tyler
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.
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.
17 Jerry Siegel
18 Phil Graham
20 Bob Guccione
21 Jann Wenner
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.
27 Will Eisner
29 Joe Simon
30 Henry Luce
40 Eugene Meyer
41 Stan Lee
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.
42 Ishmael Reed
44 Jim Shooter
Social reformer and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass was a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York. Born into slavery, he had a difficult early life. Eventually, he managed to escape and dedicated the rest of his life to promoting the cause of abolition. He was a great orator and writer.