James W. Michaels: 1921-2007

1003jamesmichaels.jpgLongtimes Forbes editor James W. Michaels passed away late Tuesday night of pneumonia. He was 86 years old and was the mag’s editor from 1961 until 1999. There’s an appreciation of the man over at, appropriately enough, Forbes:

When he took the helm of Forbes in 1961–he had joined the company in 1954–he brilliantly turned what was then a second-rate publication into not only the leader of the business category but also one of the best magazines both here and around the world.

He virtually created modern business journalism. He saw Forbes as the “drama critic” of business. Under his stewardship, Forbes became the definitive source of who was doing well, and who wasn’t, and why.