Three generations of Americans have shared a common childhood experience: pleasant hours spent reading the children's magazine Highlights for Children. Founded in 1946 by a married couple of teachers, Highlights is a general interest magazine for children aged three to thirteen years. Each issue is filled with science facts, jokes, art, and poetry from children around the country. Each issue also contains old favorites like the Hidden Pictures puzzle and cartoons like the silly "Timbertoes" and the humorously educational "Goofus and Gallant." The magazine's consistently high quality, familiar features, and respectful tone have made it a favorite of both children and parents for more than fifty years.
The founders of Highlights were Garry Cleveland Myers (1884–1971) and Carolyn Clark Myers (1887–1980), two Pennsylvania teachers. The Myerses had spent many years developing methods of teaching children and adults to read and write before traveling around the country teaching classes in parenting skills. In the 1930s, Garry began to write an advice column called "Parenting Problems." His advice column appeared in newspapers around the country. The Myerses worked with various publications for children. They became frustrated, however, when business concerns were placed before the welfare of the children who read the publications.
These frustrations led them to decide to start their own magazine. In 1946, Highlights for Children was born. Garry Myers was sixty-one years old and his wife Caroline was fifty-nine when they began work on their famous magazine. When they retired, their daughter Betty and her husband Kent Brown took over editing Highlights. A clever salesperson, Betty got the idea of placing the magazine in doctors' and dentists' offices, where reading the copies could calm nervous children waiting for their appointments. She also started the practice of selling subscriptions door to door, which continued until 1991. During the 1950s and 1960s, Highlights had four hundred door-to-door salespeople. In comparison, only twenty people actually worked in the office creating the magazine.
In the 1970s, the next generation took over, as Garry and Caroline Myers' grandchildren began to produce Highlights and to sell children subscriptions through their schools. The fourth generation of the Myers/Brown family has also begun to work in the family business, as another generation of children discovers the fun hidden in the pages of Highlights.
For More Information
Highlights for Children.http://www.highlightsforchildren.com/about/index.html (accessed February 20, 2002)
Kantrowitz, Barbara. "He-Man Meets Ranger Rick." Newsweek (June 30, 1986): pp. 54–56.
Walters, Laurel Shaper. "A 500th Issue for Highlights." Christian ScienceMonitor (July 16, 1993): pp. 13–15.