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Obituary: George Green, former president and CEO of Hearst Magazines International

George Green, former president and chief executive officer of Hearst Magazines International, died on Monday 5 August at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City from complications of pneumonia. He was 81.

George Green Hearst ()


Green, whose service at Hearst spanned more than 35 years, retired in June of 2009 but retained an affiliation with the company as a consultant.

Green joined Hearst Magazines in 1984 as executive vice president/group publishing director, initially responsible for seven titles. He was elected president of Hearst Magazines International (HMI) in September 1989 when Hearst formed the division. At that time, HMI published 28 licensed editions around the world. In his capacity as president and CEO of HMI, Green expanded it to more than 200 licensed or joint-ventured editions of Hearst Magazines in 55 countries in 36 languages for distribution in more than 100 countries. He was also executive vice president of Hearst Magazines and vice president of Hearst. 

“In his 20 years as its leader, George Green built Hearst Magazines International into a global powerhouse, establishing operations in Russia and China and many other nations,” said Hearst president and CEO Steven R. Swartz. “He was a visionary with extraordinary product and dealmaking skills and an uncanny instinct for the next great emerging market.”

In addition to his Hearst career, Green served as president of FIPP, formerly the International Federation of the Periodical Press, from 1991 to 1993.

James Hewes, FIPP president and CEO, said: "It’s not often that someone comes along who changes an industry. For international magazine publishing, George Green was that person. The stellar growth of Hearst’s international magazine business under his leadership began a boom in international activity that persists to this day.

"His contribution to FIPP was equally important. As chairman he was instrumental in organising the 1993 FIPP Congress in Orlando. Latterly he served as a member of FIPP’s Advisory Board and his contributions to the direction of both the organisation and the wider industry were invaluable new messages.

"On behalf the team at FIPP, the Chairman, Treasurer and the FIPP Board past and present, I would like express our deepest condolences to his family and to Hearst. His legacy will not be forgotten."

He was also a member of the board of directors of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) since 1976, serving as its chairman from 1981 to 1983. Green was also chairman of the MPA’s International Committee.

In 1996, he was elected to the board of directors of The National Magazine Company, Ltd. in the United Kingdom. He was the 1998 recipient of the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, which honours a magazine leader for significant and long-standing contributions to the publishing industry. In 1999, he was the recipient of the ACE International Publishing Personality of the Year Award, which is the United Kingdom publishing community’s highest accolade. Green was also a former board member of The Advertising Council. In 2004, the U.S.-China Foundation for International Exchanges honored Green with the Marco Polo Award, which is given to foreign business leaders who play a significant role in China’s development. 

Along with serving as president or chairman of various industry trade groups, Green was a member of the Board of Directors of Hart Energy, a property of Wiegers Capital Partners, member of the Board of Managers of, co-chair of the Council of Global Advisors of the Yale School of Management and he served on the Board of Advisors of the Yale School of Management. In March 2019, Green was inducted into New York University’s Sir Harold Acton Society.

Green earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University.

He is survived by his wife Wilma H. Jordan, CEO of The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., and children, William and Elizabeth.

A memorial service will be held September 12 at 4pm at Central Presbyterian Church, in New York.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to NYU Langone Health, in recognition of Dr. Brian Bosworth and Green’s care team. Contributions may be made in memory of George Green online at, or by mail to NYU Langone Health, Office of Development, One Park Avenue 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016.


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