Louis Antoine Godey (1804 - 1878) Publisher

The man behind Godey's Lady's Book

(This photo is from Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain)

Louis A. Godey - Obituary - The American Bookseller - Vol VI No 11, pg. 710 - December 2, 1878

Louis A. Godey, the founder of Godey's Lady's Book, died in Philadelphia, Nov. 29, at the age of seventy-four years.  He had been ill for three weeks, but was thought to be improving, being able to sit up a part of each day.  On the evening of his death he was sitting in his chair reading, when suddenly, the paper fell from his hand and he fell back and expired.

Louis A. Godey was born in New York June 6, 1804.  In early life he removed to Washington, but his stay there was short, and he soon after went to Philadelphia, where he started a publishing house, in which enterprise he associated with himself the present venerable editor of the North American, Morton McMichael.  The new house brought out the American edition of Captain Maryatt's novels. 

Young Godey got a practical knowledge of printing from Charles Alexander, the most celebrated printer that Philadelphia ever had.  It was Alexander who printed that well-known production of W. E. Burone, the comedian, The Gentleman's Magazine, and in the editorial rooms of that monthly Louis A. Godey first had his future marked out for him.  On July 1, 1830, he joined hands with Charles Alexander in the publication of the afterwards famous little magazine known as Godey's Lady's Book.

Several years of this experiment sufficed Mr. Alexander, and he withdrew from the firm.  Louis A. Godey then managed his magazine alone until, in 1837, he called to his side Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, who, although now more than ninety years old, has outlived her co-editor.

Some years back George W. Jones, who died three years ago, was called to a co-partnership and to the business management of the Lady's Book.  Mr. Godey continued at the head of his magazine until December, 1877, when he sold its right and title to the Godey Publishing Company, the head of which, Mr. G. L. Brown was at one time business manager of  Forney's Press

Additional online information about Louis Godey


Louis A. Godey. Digital ID: 1243359. New York Public Library