Wilhelm Nast, a German immigrant, published the leading newspaper for the German American Methodist movement in the U.S. His grandson, Condé Montrose Nast, grew up in Wilhelm’s house, exposed to publishing and books the way the child of a pianist might absorb music by lying under the Steinway while the parent practiced for a concert. Add a pinch of mensa-like intelligence and vision, and the recipe for success is nearly foretold.

Condé Nast established a magazine empire. Known today as Condé Nast Publishing, it has expanded beyond his wildest dreams with a vast array of periodicals including Vogue, Glamour, House & Garden, Vanity Fair, Golf Digest, Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, The New Yorker, and many others. Its circulation dwarfs Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Fortune combined.

Nast was born in 1873 in New York City. His father went to Europe when Nast was three and did not return for another 13 years. Nast’s mother took her four children to St. Louis to live with Wilhelm.