Weekly magazine known for its literary standards and sophisticated cartoons. Started in 1925 by Harold Ross, who dreamed of an upscale weekly humor magazine for cosmopolitan New Yorkers. His idea caught the attention of Raoul Fleischman, heir to the Fleischman yeast fortune, and he became a significant investor (and was either vice president, president, chairman, and publisher until 1969). With the art direction of Rea Irvin and the literary taste of Katharine S. White, the magazine began to catch on as a sophisticated humor magazine, even through the Depression. Early writers included wits such as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and James Thurber. In 1939, with prodding from William Shawn, the magazine began to cover serious issues, notably the war in Europe, and included serious journalism in its pages. The most famous of these articles was John Hersey's "Hiroshima," which appeared as an entire issue of the magazine on August 31, 1946.

For the first 66 years, it had just three editors (Ross, Shawn, and Robert Gottlieb). In 1985, Advance Publications bought the magazine, which now runs it through its Conde Nast division.