Already a successful businesswoman who had created a popular textile company, Jean Gordon launched a remarkable second career as the owner and publisher of Dance Magazine. Gordon briefly worked for Pictorial Review before marrying in 1927, but when her husband died in 1931, leaving her with a baby to support, she used the life insurance policy to fund the creation of the Advance Pattern Company with her former boss. When she retired in 1950 from her post as executive vice president, the company had offices across the country and hundreds of employees. Weeks after her retirement, her friend Rudolf Orthwine asked her to help him run Dance Magazine, which he had recently acquired and which was in dire straits. Knowing nothing about dance, Gordon nonetheless used her experience as a businesswoman to bring the magazine back to financial stability and build its audience, eventually making it widely respected in the field. She created the annual Dance Magazine Awards, dance scholarships, and several guides to resources for performing arts, and remained involved with the magazine until her death. In 1972 and 1979, Dance Masters of America honored her for “her outstanding contributions to the dance profession.”
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jean Gordon." (Viewed on January 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/gordon-jean>.