Grace Mirabella, the former editor-in-chief of American Vogue for 17 years, has passed away at the age of 91.
Mirabella joined Vogue in 1951 as a merchandising assistant and joined its editorial team three years later. Born to parents of Italian descent, she once said her nothing about her upbringing prepared her for her long-standing career at Vogue, according to the magazine’s tribute to its former editor.
Mirabella served as editor of the famous publication from 1971 after taking over from Diana Vreeland.
She was widely credited with steering the magazine towards an audience of working women during her tenure.
“I didn’t want to showcase women who had no other credit to their names but their names. I wanted to give Vogue back to real women,” Mirabella wrote in her autobiography. “I wanted to give Vogue over to women who were journalists, writers, actresses, artists, playwrights, businesswomen,” she insisted.
Health and fitness coverage also increased under the direction of Mirabella, whose husband William Cahan, a surgeon, was an ant-smoking lobbyist.
Vogue’s circulation also tripled while Mirabella led the magazine from 400,000 in 1971 to 1.2m at the end of her tenure, according to Vogue.
Anna Wintour, who still heads up Vogue as global editorial director, took over after Mirabella stepped back from the role in 1988. Today the print magazine is read by 22.5m people a month.
After leaving Vogue she went on to found a new magazine, named Mirabella, in 1989 with Murdoch Magazines. The publication launched with a readership of 400,000, but this and revenue later declined. She left the venture after five years in 1994.