H. Christopher "Chris" Whittle (born August 23, 1947) is an American media and education entrepreneur. He is the chief executive officer of Avenues: The World School, a planned international system of independent pre-K-12 schools. Avenues opened its first campus in New York City in fall 2012. Previously he headed several publishing ventures, including serving as publisher of Esquire magazine and leading Whittle Communications, and founded Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning) with Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.
Early life and career
Whittle was born in Etowah, Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a major in American Studies, Whittle started the magazine Knoxville in a Nutshell with Phillip Moffitt and others. He started the 13-30 Corporation in Knoxville. In 1979 13-30 bought Esquire magazine, where Whittle served as chairman and publisher for a number of years. In 1986, 13-30 became Whittle Communications, which was one of America's top 100 media companies in the late 1980s - known for creating and publishing single-advertiser magazines that were placed in medical office waiting rooms. In 1989, Whittle Communications launched Channel One News, a national in-school television news program (first anchored by Kenny Rogers Jr., Brian Tochi, Michele Ruiz, Hicks Neal, Kathy Kronenberger and Mark Carter). Channel One News' programming reached eight million students daily in 12,000 schools and won the Peabody Award. Whittle sold the company in 1994.
He is the author of Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, published in 2005, and wrote a chapter on the rise of global schooling for Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform, published by Harvard Education Press in 2011. Whittle sits on the board of the Center for Education Reform in Washington, D.C. In October 2010 he received an "accomplished alumnus" award from the University of Tennessee, his alma mater, where he has funded over 180 full scholarships.
Whittle serves on the board of EdisonLearning (formerly Edison Schools).the company he founded with Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. in 1992. Edison was an early pioneer in public/private partnerships in K-12 education in America. EdisonLearning now serves 450,000 students on three continents through the schools it operates and a variety of other educational programs. Edison Schools was a public company from 1999 to 2003, with its stock traded on the NASDAQ. After reaching a high of close to USD$40 per share in early 2001, shares fell as low as 14 cents. The company was taken private in 2003, in a buyout which valued the company at $180 million  or $1.76 per share.
- Trimble, Vance H. An Empire Undone: The Wild Rise and Hard Fall of Chris Whittle, 1995. ISBN 978-1-55972-309-1
- "Commentary: Chris Whittle". 
- Whittle, Chris. Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, 2005. ISBN 1-59448-902-5
- "Whittle Taps Exeter, Dalton Veterans to Start New York School" by John Hechinger and Oliver Staley, Bloomberg News - January 31, 2011
- "Whittle Starts A City School" by Shelly Banjo, Wall Street Journal - January 31, 2011
- Channel One site
- Powell's Book synopsis
- Center for Education Reform site, 14 May 2013
- Press Release (October 28, 2010). "UT Graduate, Media Mogul Chris Whittle Receives Accomplished Alumni Award". Tennessee Today. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Edison buyout draws Ire in Florida. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- "Edison Schools accepts buyout". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- Christopher Whittle profile, thePeerage.com; accessed 26 October 2015.
- Profile: Christopher Whittle, National Public Radio, June 28, 2000
- Interview: Chris Whittle, PBS Frontline, July 3, 2003
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- "Has Avenues Mastermind Chris Whittle Learned His Lesson?" in the New York Observer