Ellery Sedgwick

Biography of Ellery Sedgwick

Ellery Sedgwick (February 27, 1872 – April 21, 1960) was an American editor, brother of Henry Dwight Sedgwick.

Early life

He was born in New York City to Henry Dwight Sedgwick II and Henrietta Ellery (Sedgwick), grand daughter of William Ellery. His ancestors, a leading family of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, established a tradition of literary achievement, including authors Catherine Maria Sedgwick and Henry Dwight Sedgwick III.


He graduated from Groton School in 1890 and Harvard University in 1894. He returned to Groton in 1894 and taught Classics there until 1896. Subsequently, he was assistant editor of the Youth's Companion at Boston (1896–1900) and in New York editor of Leslie's Monthly Magazine (1900–05) and the American Magazine (1906–07). He was associated with McClure's Magazine for short periods and with the publishing house of D. Appleton & Co., in 1909 returning to Boston to be editor of the Atlantic Monthly and president of the Atlantic Monthly Company. In 1915 he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. From his pen came The Life of Thomas Paine (1899).

When Sedgwick purchased the Atlantic Monthly in 1908, the monthly circulation was 15,000 and the magazine ran an annual deficit of $5000. He worked quickly to reverse the trend and by 1928, he had increased circulation to 137,000. He has been credited with discovering many writers and with being the first American publisher to print the works of Ernest Hemingway. Sedgwick resigned as editor in 1938 and sold the magazine in 1939.

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