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LONDON — Daniel Salem, the former chairman of Condé Nast International who blazed publishing trails in new markets, has died at age 87, according to Jonathan Newhouse.
Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International, called the French-born Salem, who served as chairman from the Sixties until 1991, a brilliant executive and the architect of Condé Nast’s international success.
This story first appeared in the April 25, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“When he took on the direction of International, the operation consisted of five titles in Britain and France, along with a licensed edition of Vogue in Australia. Daniel vastly expanded International’s scope, establishing Vogue and other Condé Nast titles in Italy in the Sixties, Germany in the Seventies and Spain in the Eighties,” Newhouse said. “Upon his retirement as chairman in 1991, Condé Nast International published more than 30 titles in seven countries and was recognized as the leading international publisher of upmarket magazines in the world.
“Daniel meant a lot to me,” continued Newhouse. “I admired him for his drive and ability, his brilliant mind and, not least, his integrity. He was a mentor and a friend. Not many people in the organization today remember him, but those who knew him will never forget him.”
Salem was born in Paris on Jan. 24, 1925. His family fled France in advance of the German invasion and occupation, and settled in the U.S. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in World War II. He returned and attended Harvard, where he graduated with a double major in mathematics and philosophy.
Salem started his career at Condé Nast in the U.S. in the early Fifties, where he worked for the former president, Iva Patcevitch, and with Hal Meyer, who was in charge of strategic planning. Salem then left the publishing business and went into banking, working for Lazard Frères.
It was Samuel I. Newhouse, father of Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr., who persuaded him to return to Condé Nast in the early Sixties.
In addition to running Condé Nast International, Salem also held the title of deputy chairman of the parent company. He was married to Marie-Pierre Salem, and in later years spent time with his long-time companion, Martine Garel.
Salem, who had been living in a convalescent home outside London, died in his sleep on Saturday.