Shirrel Rhoades

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Shirrel Rhoades
Born Shirrel Rhoades
(1942-05-19) May 19, 1942 (age 73)
North Wilkesboro, NC
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Publisher, Professor, Filmmaker
Notable works
Marvel Comics, Reader's Digest, Cricket, Harper's Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Opportunity Magazine, Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry, Comics Books: How the Industry Works, A Complete History of American Comic Books
Awards Associated Press

Shirrel Rhoades (/ˈʃɜrəl ˈrdz/; born May 19, 1942) is an American writer, publisher, professor, filmmaker, and the former executive vice president of Marvel Entertainment.


Early life[edit]

Shirrel Rhoades was born in rural Wilkes County, North Carolina. His father owned a furniture store where his mother helped out. He has a brother, Bill, and a sister named Dawn, both younger by ten and thirteen years. His parents divorced while he was in his teens and Rhoades' father died shortly afterward in an automobile accident.


Rhoades was raised in Mulberry, North Carolina, where he attended Wilkes Central High School. After graduating in 1960, Rhoades attended Wake Forest University and Stetson University. He received his BA in Fine Arts in 1964.

Publishing career[edit]

Early writing[edit]

After college, Rhoades took a job as layout artist with The Florida Times-Union. He later become the Sunday Magazine’s assistant editor and chief feature writer, as well as the newspaper’s film and theatre critic.

Magazines and comics[edit]

In 1968, Rhoades became the Executive Editor of Etienne Dupuch Jr. Publications, the Nassau-based publisher of The Bahamas Business Handbook and other travel and education titles. In 1972, he launched Directions (a travel magazine for the Great Smoky Mountains region) and an annual book series and quarterly travel publication about the Cayman Islands.

After selling his interest to his partners in 1973, he joined Open Court Publishing in Illinois to launch Cricket, a literary magazine for children.

In 1976, Rhoades became Associate Publisher of Harper's Magazine. Three years later, he was recruited to Charter Publishing as Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, and Sport.

Rhoades joined Scholastic to launch Family Computing magazine. In 1988, purchased his own periodical, Opportunity Magazine. Later he would launch a sister publication, Income Plu$, both aimed at small business entrepreneurs.

In 1996, Rhoades became Executive Vice President of Marvel Entertainment and Publisher of Marvel Comics. He left Marvel three years later and joined Reader's Digest as Vice President of New Business Development.

Direct marketing[edit]

Shirrel Rhoades has served on the board of directors of American Family Publishers and on the advisory board of the New York Academy of Sciences. He was nominated for the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame in 1997 and again for the Circulation Hall of Fame in 1998. During the 1980s, he was chairman of the Consumer Marketing Committee for Magazine Publishers of America and a member of their Finance Committee.


Rhoades has published multiple books, including Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry (with Dr. David E. Sumner), Comic Books: How the Industry Works, and A Complete History of American Comic Books.

Professor lecturer[edit]

As an adjunct associate professor, Rhoades taught for 17 years in New York University's Center for Publishing. He also served as associate chair of the Association's Education Committee.


External links[edit]