Clay Felker, a legend in magazines and journalism, died today.
I had to honor to work with Clay Felker for a few years, making magazines and websites as part of my time at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He was in poor health for much of the time we worked together, but never lost his fire or his commitment to the core thesis of a great publication: Voice, Point of View, and Quality. He viewed great magazines as conversations, much of my own theories around FM owe a direct debt to conversations I had with Clay on topics of publishing, the Internet, and business models.
His legacy will live on and multiply in the work of the thousands he hired, worked with, and edited.
3 thoughts on “The Passing of a Legend”
I worked very briefly at New York Magazine while he was there. Strongest memory (outside of watching Jimmy Breslin work while hung over) was a group of unhappy black power advocates leaving our walk-up building after a meeting with him. At the bottom, one turned, looked up the stairs, and shouted “F**k you, Clay Felker!”
I don’t think they liked him.
We are not too familiar with him but Rest in Peace – seemed like a good man.
I’ll miss him too. Memories are flooding back of my time at New York working for him and his time at ADWEEK with us.
Everything I know about publishing I learned from him.