Home / History of National Geographic Magazine

History of National Geographic Magazine

The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C. on January 27, 1888, by 33 explorers and scientists who were interested in “organizing a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.” They had begun discussing forming the Society two weeks earlier on January 13, 1888, before gathering at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square near the White House.

Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, eventually succeeded him. Bell’s son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine, and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since. Bell and his son-in-law, Grosvenor, devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines.

Leave a Comment