Lila Bell Wallace

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Lila Bell Wallace (December 25, 1889, Virden, Manitoba, Canada – May 8, 1984, Mount Kisco, New York) was a United States magazine publisher.

Born as Lila Bell Acheson, her father was a Presbyterian minister who brought his family to the USA when she was a child, and she grew up in the Midwest. She graduated from the University of Oregon (1917), taught at schools for two years, and then worked for the Young Women's Christian Association. She also studied at Ward Belmont.[1]

In 1921 she married DeWitt Wallace, with whom she co-founded Reader's Digest; they published the first issue in 1922.

The Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Writers Award was given in her memory from 1990–2000.[2]

On January 28, 1972, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.[3] In 1992, she was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Arts.[4]

She died of heart failure in 1984. In her lifetime, she made philanthropic contributions estimated at $60 million.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers Awards". The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-28. 
  3. ^ The American Presidency Project
  4. ^ Lifetime Honors - National Medal of Arts

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