George Green

George Green
GREEN–George. Longtime President and Chief Executive Officer of Hearst Magazines International
Dead at 81.

George Green, former president and chief executive officer of Hearst Magazines International, died August 5 at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City from complications of pneumonia. He was 81.

Green, whose service at Hearst spanned more than 35 years, retired in June of 2009 but retained an affiliation with the company as a consultant. Green joined Hearst Magazines in 1984 as executive vice president/group publishing director, initially responsible for seven titles. He was elected president of Hearst Magazines International (HMI) in September 1989 when Hearst formed the division. At that time, HMI published 28 licensed editions around the world. In his capacity as president and CEO of HMI, Green expanded it to more than 200 licensed or joint-ventured editions of Hearst Magazines in 55 countries in 36 languages for distribution in more than 100 countries. He was also executive vice president of Hearst Magazines and vice president of Hearst. “In his 20 years as its leader, George Green built Hearst Magazines International into a global powerhouse, establishing operations in Russia and China and many other nations,” said Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz. “He was a visionary with extraordinary product and dealmaking skills and an uncanny instinct for the next great emerging market.” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Hearst executive vice chairman and former CEO, said: “George Green was a major player in the publishing world, and his contribution to Hearst was exceptional. The decision Gil Maurer and I made to put him in charge of the nascent international publishing business turned out to be inspired. It would be impossible to believe that anyone could have achieved more.”

Green came to Hearst from The New Yorker where he served as president and chief operating officer. Green was elected to the board of directors in 1973 and was named vice president in 1974, before being elected president and chief operating officer in 1975. During his presidency, earnings at The New Yorker increased eight of the nine years, and the stock appreciated from $7 to $160 per share. Advance Communication acquired The New Yorker Magazine, Inc. in 1985 at $200 per share.

Green drew equal satisfaction representing the company on the softball field during its Crusader League championship year; he also edited the company newsletter, a means to let employees at every level feel connected and included in the company’s achievements.

In addition to his Hearst career, Green served as president of FIPP, formerly the International Federation of the Periodical Press, from 1991 to 1993. He was a member of the board of directors of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) since 1976, serving as its chairman from 1981 to 1983. Green was also chairman of the MPA’s International Committee. In 1996, he was elected to the board of directors of The National Magazine Company, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. He was the 1998 recipient of the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, which honors a magazine leader for significant and long-standing contributions to the publishing industry. In 1999, he was the recipient of the ACE International Publishing Personality of the Year Award, which is the United Kingdom publishing community’s highest accolade. Green was also a former board member of The Advertising Council. In 2004, the U.S.-China Foundation for International Exchanges honored Green with the Marco Polo Award, which is given to foreign business leaders who play a significant role in China’s development.

Along with serving as president or chairman of various industry trade groups, Green was a member of the Board of Directors of Hart Energy, a property of Wiegers Capital Partners, member of the Board of Managers of, co-chair of the Council of Global Advisors of the Yale School of Management and he served on the Board of Advisors of the Yale School of Management. In March 2019, Green was inducted into New York University’s Sir Harold Acton Society. Green earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University. He is survived by his wife Wilma H. Jordan, CEO of The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., and children, William and Elizabeth. A memorial service will be held September 12 at 4pm at Central Presbyterian Church, 593 Park Avenue (at 64th Street), New York, NY 10065. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to NYU Langone Health, in recognition of Dr. Brian Bosworth and Green’s care team. Contributions may be made in memory of George Green online at, or by mail to NYU Langone Health, Office of Development, One Park Avenue 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 8, 2019.