Never – never – never – never – never- give up!!

      In 1969, magazine editor T. George Harris took a little-known magazine, put it in black, and made it into one of the outstanding magazines of its time. In 1976, soon after his magazine was bought by a major chain, Harris learned that his wife had breast cancer. Eight months later, he lost his job as a magazine editor. He then watched the magazine he had worked so hard to build suffer hard times and slowly decline until it was ultimately sold at a give-away price.

     At age fifty-five he found himself alone (his wife by then in the Sloan-Kettering Hospital), out of work, and with four children to clothe and feed. He began growing vegetables in his backyard to help feed his family and took occasional carpentry jobs to earn a little more. In all these however, Harris says the most significant part of his struggle was taking over the responsibilities of a working “mother”.

     His sons helped him run the house and shared in the chores. He bought a gross of white athletic socks and a gross of maroon socks so he wouldn’t have to “sort and match” the laundry. He’d just leave a basket of socks on the stairs. “Maroon is a universal color,” he says “It goes just as badly with blue, gray and black as with brown and green.”

     Harris couldn’t afford riding the taxi, so he began jogging to and from freelance jobs and then to the hospital to be with his wife during her meals. He gave up junk food and that, along with his daily jogging, resulted in a weight loss of thirty pounds. His hectic schedule continued for months. Some evening he wouldn’t get home until nine of ten. In January 1987 his wife died of cancer.

     Harris’s busy schedule continued for four years. In 1982 the combination improved his health, his struggle to survive and his will to succeed led him to take a risk. With little money, he and a partner launched a new, magazine from a seedy office in New York City. In a few short years, “American Health” has attracted a circulation approaching a million subscribers and has received a National Magazine Award. T. George Harris obviously didn’t get “the breaks” he made his own.

 


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