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Magazine publishing icon Terry Mansfield passes away after contracting Coronavirus
30 March 2020

Terry Mansfield, a giant of UK magazine publishing and former chairman of Graduate Fashion Week, has passed this weekend at the age of 81 having contracted the Coronavirus.

Mansfield, was the former president and chief executive of the National Magazine Company (now Hearst UK) which publishes titles such as Elle and Cosmopolitan, and was awarded a CBE in 2002 for his service to the magazine industry.

Hearst chief executive Steven R Swartz said: “Terry was a brilliant global strategist and valued member of our board and extended corporate family. His passion and commitment to build the Hearst brand abroad were integral to our international growth.”

Executive vice chairman and former chief executive of Hearst Frank A Bennack Jr added: “Terry was an international publishing icon. His career spanned half a century and included magazine publishing activities in almost 40 countries.

“As the first non-American director on Hearst’s board, Terry brought a global perspective that few could match. His excitement about the business was infectious and eternal.”

Mansfield served in Britain’s Royal Air Force for two years, stationed on Christmas Island in the Pacific, where he worked within the Forces Broadcasting Service. He began his 50-year career in advertising and publishing in 1961 at Condé Nast, where he worked as an assistant advertising manager and sales rep on Photography, House and Gardens, Wine and Food, Men in Vogue and Vogue magazines.

In 1966, he moved to Queen magazine, where he stayed for three years before Queen was acquired by National Magazine Company in 1969.

While at National Magazine Company, he had ascending advertising sales roles at Harper’s BAZAAR, which became Harper’s & Queen when the two magazines merged. He rose to become the magazine’s publisher for five years, before being promoted to a succession of management roles in the company.

He was named president and CEO in 2002, following a decades-long tenure as managing director of National Magazine Company. Though he retired officially in 2003, he remained a consultant to Hearst, focusing on new business development and scouting young talent across the UK and in Europe.

After retiring in 2003 he remained a consultant to Hearst, focusing on new business development and scouting young talent across the UK and in Europe. He took on a number of voluntary roles, including chairing Graduate Fashion Week and advising the British Fashion Council. 

Mansfield received numerous civic and industry honours, including the Freedom of the City of London award, the accolade of Publishing Personality of the Year and, in 2001, the Marcus Morris Award in recognition of his outstanding career contributions to magazine publishing.

Speaking at an event for in 2014, Mansfield told the audience he had fallen in love with publishing while doing work experience on a local newspaper as a young boy.

“I thought it was the most exciting thing I had ever seen in my life. I walked away with tomorrow’s newspaper and was hooked,” he recalled, “I decided then that I wanted to be a famous journalist.”

He maintained that good print magazines would have a place for many years to come but that publishers should not ignore the possibilities that new technologies brought. “The difference between my generation and yours is technology,” he said. “In my opinion, the media companies of the future haven’t even been invented yet. Technology is the very lifeblood of your lives and you must embrace it.”

During his retirement Mansfield cast himself in the role of a fairy godfather and mentor to many in fashion and publishing, including to Editor in Chief Lauretta Roberts, whom he supported during her roles on Drapers, WGSN and

"I don't really remember how Terry came to be in my life. He just appeared from nowhere and suddenly he was a great supporter and trusted confidante. Lots of people say the same thing; they didn't really know why he'd chosen to help them, but he just did. He would just ring out of the blue if you happened to cross his mind and if he'd thought of something useful to tell you or someone useful to introduce you to.

"He would always conclude every meeting, lunch or phone call with a bright 'never change, will you?!' and he'd be off on his way. I once asked him where he got his endless energy from and he claimed it was yoga! I honestly thought he was indestructible; this is devastating news."

He is survived by his wife, Helen, two daughters, Victoria and Anna, and their respective families.

Terence Gordon Mansfield CBE, 1938-2020. 


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