Arnold Gingrich

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Arnold Gingrich (December 5, 1903 – July 9, 1976) was the editor of, and, along with publisher David A. Smart and Henry L. Jackson, co-founder of Esquire magazine. Among his other projects was the political/newsmagazine Ken.


Gingrich created Esquire in 1933 and remained its editor until 1945, then returned as publisher in 1952.[1] For several years he left the post of editor vacant while several young editors competed for it. The two most serious contenders were Harold Hayes and Clay Felker. Hayes won, and Felker went on to found New York magazine. During the Hayes-Gingrich era, Esquire played a leading role in launching the New Journalism, publishing writers like Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese.[2]


Gingrich was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan of Mennonite parents in 1903 and attended the University of Michigan. He published such authors as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, John Dos Passos, Garry Wills, Truman Capote, and Norman Mailer. He was also one of the few magazine editors to publish F. Scott Fitzgerald regularly in the late 1930s, including Fitzgerald's The Pat Hobby Stories.[3] Gingrich also published stories by Jack Woodford, whom he befriended when they worked together at an advertising agency in the 1920s. He wrote the introduction to Woodford's famous book on writing and publishing Trial and Error.

The magazine’s name Esquire was selected after Gingrich received a letter that was addressed to "Arnold Gingrich, Esq." The magazine he created set the template for future men's magazines; for example, Playboy, a variation, namely Esquire with nude photographs (Esquire had famously published a series of "Varga Girl" paintings and other "cheesecake" imagery since its founding).

His autobiography, Toys Of A Lifetime, with illustrations by Leslie Saalburg, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1966. It has long been out of print. In it, he recounts his experience with cars (he owned several notable Bentleys), including a classic R-series and S-series "Countryman" (obtained through the late J.S. Inskip in Manhattan), as well as an early Volkswagen, transatlantic liners (including the Normandie), French hotels, Dunhill pipes and Balkan Sobranie tobacco, clothes and all manner of other possessions and accommodations.

He died in 1976 in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Contributions to angling literature[edit]

Gingrich was an avid fly fisherman and contributed much to the literature of the sport.

  • Gingrich, Arnold (1965). The Well Tempered Angler. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.  More a reflection on the fishing life than a how-to manual, though it does contain practical advice on light tackle fly fishing, and a useful bibliography.[4]
  • The Theodore Gordon Flyfishers (1996). Arnold Gingrich (ed), ed. American Trout Fishing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  American Trout Fishing is the trade press edition of the Gordon Garland, a compilation of stories and history about American Trout fishing and is dedicated to Theodore Gordon. Noted fly fishing authors, including Lee Wulff, Roderick Haig-Brown, Ernie Schwiebert, Dana Lamb, Joe Brooks and many others, contributed to this work.[5][6]
  • Gingrich, Arnold (1973). The Joys of Trout. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-50584-3.  Listed as one of the modern "classics" of angling in the University of New Hampshire Library Milne Angling Collection.[7]
  • Gingrich, Arnold (1974). The Fishing In Print-A Guided Tour Through Five Centuries of Angling Literature. New York: Winchester Press.  In The Fishing In Print, Gingrich surveys the major pieces of classic and modern fly fishing literature up through the 1950s. It is an excellent read to get a better understanding of the evolution of the various styles of fly fishing—wet, nymphs, dry, etc. as originally written about by the likes of Halford, Skues, Gordon and Jennings along with many others.


  1. ^ Carol Polsgrove, It Wasn't Pretty, Folks, But Didn't We Have Fun? Esquire in the Sixties (1995), pp. 25-26.
  2. ^ Polsgrove, It Wasn't Pretty, Folks, But Didn't We Have Fun?
  3. ^ Paul Greenberg (2008-02-10). "Fitzgerald vs. Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  4. ^ Johnson, George, New & Noteworthy, October 4th, 1987, New York Times Book Review
  5. ^ Serviente, Barry (1996). Angler's Art Catalog. Plainfield, PA: The Anglers Art. pp. 95–96. 
  6. ^ Gingrich, Arnold (1974). The Fishing In Print-A Guided Tour Through Five Centuries of Angling Literature. New York: Winchester Press. pp. 317–18. 
  7. ^ University of New Hampshire Library, Milne Angling Collection Selected Highlights