The publication was founded in 1881 as a society journal. It was on hiatus from 1884 until 1886, and was revamped starting in 1891 under new editor Blakely Hall, who spiced up the publication by adding more pictures of women to its pages, more social satire, and color. Circulation grew to 50,000 subscribers at that point.
An non-exhaustive list of notable contributors to Truth includes:
- Stephen Crane, published several short stories
- George Luks, illustrator, over 234 drawings published between 1891 and 1894.
- Rose O'Neill, illustrator
- Richard F. Outcault, creator of The Yellow Kid comic strip, and whose character first appeared as a minor character in Truth
- subtitle reference
- Mount, Nicholas James. When Canadian Literature Moved to New York, p. 58 (2005)
- Sloane, Davie E.E. (ed.) American humor magazines and comic periodicals, p. 289-90 (1987)
- The Man About Town, Art in Advertising, Vol. I., No. 4, p. 118 (December 1891) (report on revamped Truth)
- Gambone, Robert L. Life on the Press: The Popular Art and Illustrations of George Benjamin Luks, p. 20 (University Press of Mississippi, 2009)
- Adcock, John (29 July 2012). TRUTH, ever changing – weekly 1881-98, monthly 1899-1905 , Yesterday's Papers (source is a technically a "blog", but content is well sourced and written by established writer and illustrator)
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