b. January 7, 1946
"I had a dream. And a vision. And a lot of passion. I was a rock and roll fan and there was no publication for me."
Jann Wenner changed rock and contemporary music coverage when he launched Rolling Stone magazine. His eye for talent, knack for business and passion for music has kept the magazine on the cutting edge for more than 40 years.
Born in New York City, Wenner was raised in Marin County, California. He began writing about rock in The Daily Californian at the University of California, Berkeley.Frustrated that the genre was not being taken seriously in the media, Wenner left college to start his own magazine.
In November 1967, Rolling Stone was launched with Wenner as cofounder and publisher. He described it as part magazine and part newspaper, with coverage of music, politics and culture.
Wenner conducted interviews with music icons and prominent politicians, including Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Mick Jagger, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama, and John Lennon after the breakup of the Beatles.
Wenner emphasized on the visual content of Rolling Stone, with celebrities photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Mark Seliger and Richard Avedon. Wenner’s publications include Us Weekly and Men’s Journal.
In 2007, the company grossed more than $33 million.
Wenner played himself in the film "Perfect" (1985) and a sports agent in "Jerry Maguire" (1996). He served as executive producer of MTV’s reality show "I’m From Rolling Stone."
In 1967, Wenner married a woman and had three sons. The couple separated in 1995. Wenner and his partner, fashion designer Matt Nye, have one son together.
In 1983, Wenner cofounded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In 1997, he was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame, making him the youngest honoree.
Bibliography“Jann S. Wenner.” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 2004
Kaczorowski, Craig. “Wenner, Jann.” GLBTQ: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. March 4, 2006
Lee, Stephiane M. “The Origins of Rolling Stone: Music Magazine Grew From Bay Area Roots.” The Daily Californian. August 20, 2007
“Times Topics: Jann Wenner.” The New York Times.
Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson (2007)