The Godfather

The founder and longtime publisher of Texas Monthly, Michael Levy, has announced that, after 35 years, he is retiring from the indispensable magazine he founded back in 1973.

An edited version of his farewell email is below:

My last day as publisher of TEXAS MONTHLY will be August 31. (I know it’s a Sunday, but for everybody associated with TEXAS MONTHLY over the years it’s always practically been 24/7/365.)

To paraphrase my friend George Pratt–who rose through the ranks at Southwest Airlines from working on the ramp and sweating in 737 baggage holds to ultimately becoming a key executive responsible for operating various regions of the country–to walk away from a labor of love is not an easy task.

At last week’s TEXAS MONTHLY Talks taping with Evan Smith, Lyle Lovett said, “Anybody who gets to do on a daily basis what he likes to do is very lucky.”

It started in 1973 with an idea, the premise still true today: Texas is a huge expanse of geography, but in essence it’s really a defined community of interest… And from our first issue in February 1973 to the newest one on the newsstands, I have always believed that our success has been due first, foremost and primarily to the magazine’s publisher always having surrounded himself with colleagues far smarter and more capable than he.

But it worked! Beyond anything I had dreamed possible.

So why now to say adiós?

Simply put, the 35th anniversary of TEXAS MONTHLY in February prompted me to make a very personal and difficult decision. With the encouragement and support of my mother, my three daughters, Rachel, Tobin and Mara, and my sister Jean, after 424 issues I’m ready to turn the torch over to those who are here, and those who will follow, because I trust them to make the magazine I started even better. The time and opportunity have come to allow me to begin a new chapter in my life…

This is proving to be much harder for me than starting TEXAS MONTHLY 35 years ago.

The most difficult part of all for me will be not being with the wonderful people here, the humanity of TEXAS MONTHLY. I guess I will never really “leave”. I just won’t be here.

We have not only made a difference in Texas, a state we all love, with our journalism and with our support for the voluntary action movement, we created a community, an extended family…

Happy trails to you all, and thanks for a great 35 years.



Thx to Michael Levy for giving our State an outstanding journalistic legacy and Texas Politics