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Ed Lewis, Essence co-founder, former chairman, to be Advertising Hall of Fame inductee
(September 30, 2013) The American Advertising Federation has informed Edward Lewis, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Essence Communications, that he will be inducted next year into the Advertising Hall of Fame. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on April 7, 2014 in New York.
Lewis, along with Clarence Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth and Jonathan Blount, founded Essence magazine, the most successful national magazine targeting the interests of African-American women. The publication debuted in May of 1970 and has since grown from 50,000 in circulation to a readership of more than 7.5 million.
Over the next two decades, Essence Communications grew to include a weekly television show, a fashion brand and mail order business, the annual televised Essence Awards and the still thriving Essence Music Festival.
In 1995, Lewis also founded Latina magazine, a bilingual publication geared toward Hispanic women. In honor of his remarkable success, in 1997 Lewis became the first black chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America (now known as the Association of Magazine Media), the industry's premier trade association representing over 700 publications.
In 2000, Time Inc. purchased 49 percent of Essence Communication Inc, and in 2005 made a deal to purchase the remaining 51 percent. The deal placed the ownership of the 34-year-old Essence magazine, the leading magazine for women of color, under white ownership for the first time.
Lewis, a native New Yorker, is presently a senior adviser, of Solera Capital, a private equity and venture capital firm.
The Advertising Hall of Fame began in 1948 as a result of a proposal by the New York Ad Club to the Advertising Federation of America, which provided that the Advertising Hall of Fame be administered by the Advertising Federation of America on behalf of the entire advertising industry.
The AAF honors those men and women who have best served the cause of advertising. Since then, 191 extraordinary individuals have been elected to this illustrious group.
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