Sports Illustrated goes way back before it was published under this name in 1954. Two previous magazines had similar titles, with Sports Illustrated being published between 1936 and 1938, then Dell Publishing tried Sports Illustrated in 1949, only publishing 6 issues before closing.
It was the Time patriarch, Henry Luce, who had the idea of publishing Sports Illustrated in 1954, who believed that sports fans would be interested in the magazine. The magazine had a difficult time in its first few years. In 1960, Luce hired a new manager and editor, Andre Laguerre, whose writing impressed him during the Winter Olympics.
Laguerre organized writers into departments and hired professional cameramen to take full-color photos of that week’s sporting events. It was also Laguerre’s idea to include the now-famous swimsuit edition.
Today, the magazine is published monthly and is owned by the Maven Group. At the end of 2015, the magazine had a circulation rate of more than 3 million.
These job cuts prompted the remaining employees to consider unionizing.
The magazine did receive criticism when it allowed Christine Blasey Ford to attend an awards ceremony, giving her preferred seating in December 2018.
Sports Illustrated maintains a corporate office in Seattle, Washington.