The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors. The magazine is also noted for its photography, especially relating to fashion and style The magazine also includes various puzzles, which have been popular features since their introduction. Its first issue was published on September 6, 1896, and contained the first photographs ever printed in the newspaper. In the early decades it was a section of the broadsheet paper and not an insert as it is today. The creation of a “serious” Sunday magazine was part of a massive overhaul of the newspaper instigated that year by its new owner, Adolph Ochs, who also banned fiction, comic strips and gossip columns from the paper, and is generally credited with saving The New York Times from financial ruin. In 1897, the magazine published a 16-page spread of photographs documenting Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, a “costly feat” that resulted in a wildly popular issue and helped boost the magazine to success.
In its early years, The New York Times Magazine began a tradition of publishing the writing of well-known contributors, from W. E. B. Du Bois and Albert Einstein to numerous sitting and future U.S. Presidents. Editor Lester Markel, an “intense and autocratic” journalist who oversaw the Sunday Times from the 1920s through the 1950s, encouraged the idea of the magazine as a forum for ideas. During his tenure, writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams contributed pieces to the magazine. When, in 1970, The New York Times introduced its first Op-Ed page, the magazine shifted away from publishing as many editorial pieces.
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