Arthur Frommer after speaking at New York University on December 4, 2007
|Born||Arthur B. Frommer
July 17, 1929
Jefferson City, Missouri, United States
|Alma mater||New York University
Yale Law School
|Genre||Travel Guides, Consumer Advocacy|
|Spouse||Hope Arthur (divorced)
Arthur B. Frommer (born July 17, 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 because he speaks six languages.
In 1955, while serving in Germany, Frommer wrote and self-published a guidebook called The GI's Guide to Traveling In Europe. 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 the practice of law 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. In April 2013, Frommer regained control of the guidebook series bearing his name by acquiring the rights from Google. In November 2013, the first of the new Frommer titles appeared on bookstore shelves across the United States, Canada and abroad. The new guides, which are known as the Frommer's EasyGuide series, are more compact and less expensive than the old Frommer guides, though they still cover a broad range of price categories, topics and travel providers. Frommer has also continued the highly popular "Day by Day" series.
Frommer has 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 syndicated through King Features. He has a weekly syndicated radio show, The Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer, also hosted with his daughter.
Portrayal in movies
Frommer's first marriage to actress, teacher and author Hope Arthur produced one daughter, Pauline. Pauline Frommer is an award-winning travel writer in her own right, was the founding editor of Frommers.com and is currently publisher of Frommers.com, editorial director of the Frommers Guidebooks, a nationally-heard radio talk show host and co-president of Frommer Media LLC. Arthur Frommer is currently married to Roberta Brodfeld, who was an associate director of a non-profit agency treating autistic and other mentally disabled children before her retirement. His daughter Pauline is married to Mahlon Stewart and in their marriage they have produced two daughters, Veronica and Beatrix Stewart-Frommer.
- Budget Travel – Homepage at www.budgettravelonline.com
- Harpaz, Beth (May 2, 2007). "Frommer guide is 50 years old". Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
- Temple Bethel website Archived February 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. 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.
- "Google 'sells Frommer's guides business back to founder'". BBC News. BBC. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Ernst, Amanda (December 17, 2009). "Budget Travel Sold". mediaBistro.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-10-01. The Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer
- USA Today: "Arthur Frommer: 'We believe in guidebooks'" by Candyce H. Stapen October 29, 2013
- AEI Speakers Bureau: "Arthur Frommer" Archived May 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. retrieved March 8, 2013
- New York Times: "Pauline Frommer, Mahlon Stewart" October 6, 1996
- 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