Arthur Frommer after speaking at New York University on December 4, 2007
|Born||1929 (age 83–84)
Jefferson City, Missouri
|Alma mater||New York University
Yale Law School
|Genres||Travel Guides, Consumer Advocacy|
Arthur Frommer (born 1929) is a travel writer, publisher and consumer advocate, and the founder of the Frommer's series of travel guides and Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine. He has published many books for budget-conscious travelers and has been one of America's foremost budget travel authorities since the 1950s. Frommer's seminal book, Europe on 5 Dollars a Day, changed the way Americans traveled, and foreshadowed such later budget-conscious guidebooks as Lonely Planet and Rick Steves.
Education and military service
Frommer was born to a Jewish family in Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of a Polish-born mother and an Austrian-born father. He moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was 14. He graduated from New York University in 1950 with a political science degree, and graduated with honors from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Frommer was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War, but was posted to Europe.
While serving in Germany, he wrote and self-published a guidebook called The GI's Guide to Traveling In Europe in 1955. It sold well, and in 1957 Frommer followed up with a civilian version called Europe on 5 Dollars a Day, which covered major European urban destinations. During his vacations while a litigation associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, he continued his travel writing and publishing. The first guide books included Europe, New York, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Los Angeles-San Francisco-Las Vegas, expanding through the years to more than 350 titles. In 1961, Frommer founded wholesale tour operator $5-a-Day Tours, Inc.
He left law practice in 1962 to pursue his travel business Arthur Frommer International, Inc., of which he was chairman and president until 1981. In 1969, Frommer built his first hotel in Amsterdam on the premises of the Weaver's Guild (in the Noorderstreet). This hotel is now known as the Hotel Mercure Amsterdam Arthur Frommer (part of the Accor group).
Frommer sold the travel guide book business to the publishing house Simon & Schuster in 1977. After several subsequent sales, the Frommer’s series was purchased by John Wiley & Sons in 2001. In August 2012, Google announced that it was purchasing Frommer's Travel Guides from John Wiley in a bid to acquire more online content.
He preserves a consultant role in the Frommer's line of travel guides, leaving time to pursue other projects. Frommer kept a strong commitment to low-budget and alternative travel and to consumer advocacy in travel. In the 1980s, he published Frommer's New World of Travel, which advocated alternative vacation styles, and founded Budget Travel magazine, which was sold first to Newsweek, and then to a private investment firm. He briefly ventured into general bargain shopping in 2005-2006 with the quarterly magazine Arthur Frommer's Smart Shopping. He writes a travel column with his daughter Pauline Frommer syndicated through King Features. He has a weekly syndicated radio show, "The Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer", also hosted with his daughter.
In 2013, Frommer reacquired control of the guidebook series bearing his name by purchasing the rights from Google.
Portrayal in movies
Frommer is married to Roberta Brodfeld who is Associate Director of a non profit agency treating autistic and other mentally disabled children. They have one daughter, Pauline, who is actress and part time travel writer.
- Budget Travel – Homepage at www.budgettravelonline.com
- Harpaz, Beth (May 2, 2007). "Frommer guide is 50 years old". Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
- Temple Bethel website retrieved March 13, 2013
- WayMarking: Arthur Frommer & wife Roberta retrieved March 8, 2013
- Boyar, Jay (August 8, 2005). "On the road with travel expert Arthur Frommer". The Seattle Times.
- Frommers: "Frommers.com Podcast: Arthur Frommer on a Half-Century of Travel - The founder of Frommer's Guides talks travel with author and daughter Pauline Frommer May 4, 2007
- Callwood, Brett (August 14, 2012). "Google to Acquire Frommer's". Forbes.
- Ernst, Amanda (December 17, 2009). "Budget Travel Sold". mediaBistro.
- http://wor710.com/pages/11653369.php The Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer
- AEI Speakers Bureau: "Arthur Frommer" retrieved March 8, 2013
- Jewish Women International: "Travel Tips from an Expert: Pauline Frommer - How to search for good fares and other advice from the author of her own series of guides on budget travel" By Laurie Heifetz November 2011
- Frommer's web site
- Frommer's blog
- The Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer (radio show and podcast)
- "Arthur Frommer on a Half-Century of Travel" by Pauline Frommer
- "Program 52: Arthur Frommer" by Rick Steves
- Beth J. Harpaz, The Associated Press, "Frommer guide is 50 years old"
- "Europe Plain & Simple". Time Magazine. July 26, 1963. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
- Citation for New York University CAS Alumni Achievement Award