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George A. Hirsch

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George A. Hirsch
Hirsh in October 2015
Born (1934-06-21) June 21, 1934 (age 90)
Alma materPrinceton University (BA)
Harvard Business School (MBA)
Known forMagazine publisher, running executive, former U.S. Congressional candidate

George Aaron Hirsch (born June 21, 1934), is a magazine publisher, a founder of the five-borough New York City Marathon, a former unsuccessful candidate for Congress, and a television commentator. Hirsch was founding publisher of New York, New Times, and The Runner magazines. He also was publisher of Runner’s World, the first publishing director of Men's Health, and the publisher of La Cucina Italiana. He was the chairman of the board of New York Road Runners from 2005 until June 2023, when he became chairman emeritus.

Early life and education


Hirsch was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, where he attended public schools.[1] He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1956 with a BA in history and then from Harvard Business School in 1962.

He served as a U.S. Navy officer on a landing ship tank (LST) ported in Naples, Italy from 1957 to 1960. He and Shay Scrivner were married in 1989,[2][3][4] the second marriage[5] for each of them. He has two sons, David and William, and two stepsons, Ian Scrivner and Sean Scrivner.[6]



Magazine publishing


Hirsch spent five years at Time–Life International from 1962 to 1967 becoming assistant publisher of Life International and Life en Espanol in 1965. In 1967, he joined Clay Felker to prepare for the launch of New York magazine as the new magazine's president and publisher.[7][8] The first issue of New York magazine was published in April 1968. In 1973, he founded New Times, which he published until it folded in 1979.[9]

While publishing New Times, Hirsch launched The Runner magazine in 1978.[10] In January 1987, Rodale, Inc., an Emmaus, Pennsylvania-based publisher of magazines and books, acquired The Runner and merged it with Runner’s World,[11] where he became worldwide publisher after launching a number of international editions of the magazine. Hirsch was the first publishing director of Men's Health and director of international magazines, positions he held until his retirement from Rodale in 2004. From 2005 to 2011, he was the chairman and publisher of La Cucina Italiana, the English language edition of the Milan-based food and cooking magazine, which is the oldest such magazine in Italy.[12]



Hirsch helped Fred Lebow start the five-borough New York City Marathon in 1976 to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial.[13][14] With the success of the first race, it became an annual event that has become one of the world’s leading sporting events. In 1979, Hirsch founded the Midnight Run in New York’s Central Park, a race that is held every New Year’s Eve. From 1984 to 1986, Hirsch was the on air host of a weekly segment on ESPN's SportsCenter called "The Runner’s Corner." He has done television commentary for many distance running events including the New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cincinnati Flying Pig marathons. He has also been a commentator for three Olympic Games: the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Beginning with the Boston Marathon in 1969,[15] Hirsch has run forty marathons with a personal best of 2:38 set in Boston in 1979 at the age of 44. He ran much of that race with Joan Benoit, who went on to win the first women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. In 2009, on a promise to his wife Shay, he ran his final marathon in New York at age 75.[16] [17] He won his age group in each of his last eleven marathons. Hirsch became the chairman of the New York Road Runners in 2005.[18] Each year in conjunction with the New York City Marathon, the George Hirsch Journalism Award is given to a writer who has made a significant contribution to the sport of running.[19] Hirsch's own running journalism and commentary has appeared frequently in The New York Times.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] Hirsch is currently co-host of the podcast "Running—State of the Sport," with Amby Burfoot.[27]

Congressional candidacy and awards


Hirsch was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 1986.[28][29]

In 1988, he was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention. He was on the board of Salon Media Group from 2000 to 2017. In 2003, Hirsch was the recipient of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame George Sheehan Journalism Award.[30] In 2014, Hirsch was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races,[31] and in 2017 he was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame.[32] In 2019, he was knighted with the title of "Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia" by the Republic of Italy [33] for his role as an ambassador of Italian culture, and was named USATF's 2019 Masters Athlete of the Year for the 85-89 age group.[34]



  1. ^ "70 Years Later, Bobby Thomson's Homer Still Hurts". New York Times. 21 September 2021. Retrieved 2024-03-20.
  2. ^ "G.A. Hirsch Wed to Shay Scrivner". New York Times. 2 October 1989. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  3. ^ "A Running Love Story". Runner's World. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  4. ^ "George Hirsch Still Leading the Pack at 80". Runners World. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  5. ^ "Brenda Walker, Vassar Alumna, Is Married Here; Bride of George' Aaron Hirsch, a Graduate of Harvard Business". New York Times. 7 February 1965. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  6. ^ "Weekend Plans with George Hirsch". New York Times. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  7. ^ "New Owners Will Publish The New York Magazine". New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "New York Magazine Publisher Resigns". New York Times. July 31, 1971. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "New Times Magazine Is Ending Publication; 'Me Decade' Blamed". New York Times. November 16, 1978. Retrieved March 4, 2024.
  10. ^ "For the runners, two new publications". New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "ADVERTISING; Magazines for Runners To Merge at Rodale". New York Times. January 15, 1987. Retrieved March 4, 2024.
  12. ^ "Hirsch Stepping Down From La Cucina Italiana Board". New York Times. 13 December 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  13. ^ Hirsch, George A. (3 November 2002). "5 Boroughs. 26 Miles. Whose Crazy Idea Was This?". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  14. ^ Hirsch, George A. (2 November 2016). "The First Five-Borough New York City Marathon". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  15. ^ "100 Races Later, It's Still Boston". New York Times. 1996-04-14. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  16. ^ Wilson, Charles (21 October 2009). "At 75, George Hirsch Will Run New York City Once More". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  17. ^ "New York Marathon-Chairman of the Board George Hirsch Runs 4:06.14 at Age 75". Runners World. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  18. ^ "NYRR Board of Directors". New York Road Runners. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  19. ^ "Kenny Moore to be Honored with George Hirsch Journalism Award". New York Road Runners. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  20. ^ "Zatopek Should Carry the Olympic Torch". New York Times. 1984-04-22. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  21. ^ "Khannouchi's All-American Performance". New York Times. 1999-11-21. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  22. ^ "Bannister's Milestone Recalls A Different Era in Sport". New York Times. 2004-04-25. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  23. ^ "Grete Waitz and the Humanity of the Long Distance Runner". New York Times. 2011-04-23. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  24. ^ "60 Years Ago, an Olympic Trifecta of Endurance". New York Times. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  25. ^ "The Honorable Clan of the Long-Distance Runner". New York Times. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  26. ^ "Marathon Runners Build Their Sport Stride by Stride". New York Times. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  27. ^ "Apple Podcasts". Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  28. ^ Lambert, Bruce (20 October 1986). "'Silk Stocking' District Sees Tough Congressional Race". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  29. ^ Hirsch, George (15 November 1986). "To the Loser Belongs Some Spoils". New York Times. Retrieved 2024-03-04.
  30. ^ "National Distance Running Hall of Fame Honors Worldwide Publisher Emeritus of Runner's World Magazine, George Hirsch, with George Sheehan Award". National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  31. ^ "AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award". Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  32. ^ "RRCA Hall of Fame 2010-2019". Road Runners Club of America. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  33. ^ "Honoring George Hirsch at the Italy Run 2019 Kick-Off". 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  34. ^ "Masters Athlete of the Year Awards". Retrieved 2020-08-07.