As sole heir to his family fortune, Donald Newhouse is behind titles like Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
A lifetime of tenure at Advance Publications has given the 94-year-old company president a whopping net worth of $16.3 billion.
The Newhouse family’s wealth dates back to 1922 when Donald’s father, Sam Newhouse Sr., founded Advance Publications.
Over the decades, the company has acquired titles from the Conde Naste group, including GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
Advance Publications also owns a majority stake in Reddit.
But the beginnings of the Newhouse empire date back to a tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.
Sam Newhouse Sr. was born there in 1895 – the eldest of eight children of Jewish immigrant parents.
After dropping out of school, Sam decided to find his way into this world by earning an accounting qualification that would allow him to work his first jobs as an office assistant.
Sam first got a chance to show off his media skills when he was hired by Hyman Lazarus, a lawyer, police judge and politician.
After being impressed by Sam’s work ethic as an office boy, Hyman put him in charge of the Lost Newspaper Bayonne Times.
Sam was promised that if he made the paper a success, he would keep a share of the profits.
He did, and Sam had discovered a new business model that he would repeat over the decades.
The aspiring tycoon built a fortune by buying ailing newspapers at bargain prices in small communities.
FOUND AN EMPIRE
He then made them profitable by working with advertisers to increase newspaper revenue and by buying out local competitors.
His success in the industry led him to buy Conde Nast for $5 million in 1959.
Sam said about the acquisition: “My wife asked for a fashion magazine and I got her Vogue.”
While married to his wife Mitzi Epstein, Sam had two children to whom he would inherit his thriving empire – Donald and Sam Jr., often known as Si.
Donald later served as President of Advance Publications while Si became Chairman.
Her father had a rather strained personal relationship with his two sons, as revealed in his private memoir, A Memo to my Children.
Still, they continued the work he had begun to build a media empire after Sam passed away in 1979.
Advance Publications founded Bright House Networks in 2003 and later sold the cable company to Charter Communication for $10.4 billion in 2016.
STILL THE BOSS
Si passed away in 2017 while Donald is still serving as company president at the age of 94.
Accordingly, he is worth around 16.3 billion US dollars Business Insider
But the Newhouses aren’t the only family to keep their vast fortune to themselves.
Another media empire, Cox Enterprises, is run by the founder’s great-grandson, giving the Cox family a value of $34.5 billion.
And Fidelity, which has $4.2 trillion in assets under management, is still run by the founder’s granddaughter to this day.