August Hugo Friedrich Scherl founded a newspaper and publishing concern on 1 October 1883, which from 1900 carried the name August Scherl Verlag. He was editor of the Berlin Local Advertiser (Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger) since 3rd November 1883, and his publishing house started the weekly magazine Die Woche (The Week) in 1899. In 1904 he took over publication of the widely popular magazine Die Gartenlaube. As a result his publishing company had the largest circulation of any in Germany at the time.
Scherl was also active with theater projects, with lottery systems and a Gyro Monorail. These costly projects were not commercially successful, so he sold his interests in the German Publishers Association (Deutscher Verlagsverein) and left it in 1914. His nationwide newspaper empire was taken over by Alfred Hugenberg in 1916, and later by Max Amann (Franz-Eher-Verlag).
When young Scherl lived with his parents in Naunynstrasse, in later life he remained in the central district of Berlin and he is buried at the Luisenstadt cemetery. He had a villa constructed in Dahlem in secret, in order to surprise his wife. When she made a derogatory comment about the building, when driving past it, Scherl had the house demolished, without informing his wife. The secret of his success was his readiness to take risks, understanding of economics, foresight, innovation and unwillingness to take anything on trust.
The Generalanzeiger-Presse (General Advertiser Press) in Germany was founded by Scherl.
- Franz Menges (2005), "Scherl, August", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) 22, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 698–699
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