NEW YORK – John Veronis, a successful magazine publisher who built a leading media investment bank, died Thursday at his Manhattan home. He was 93 years old. The son of Greek immigrants, Veronis co-founded Psychology Today magazine in 1967 with a young doctoral student, Nick Charney. They thought there was a growing social interest in human behavior and neuroscience, and the magazine took off. Known for his great energy and magnetic personality, he has developed relationships across the industry and gained a reputation as an advisor to other publishers. In 1981, he saw an opportunity to create a media-focused investment bank at a time when Wall Street bankers were generally industry agnostics. Its basic premise was that a business run by experienced operating professionals who understood the publishing industry and could speak to clients like peers could compete with the big banks. He was right as Veronis Suhler & Associates led some of the media industry‘s most notable deals, including the $ 3 billion sale of Triangle Publications to News Corp in 1988. Two years later, Veronis organized the merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting. , who were engaged in a high stakes battle in the UK market. Veronis and his business partner, John Suhler, started a private equity fund in 1987 and the company went on to manage over $ 3 billion, investing in the media landscape, including the yellow pages, trade publications and cable .
Veronis has often pointed out that his wife Lauren is his most valuable partner in life and in business. The two were rarely separated and enjoyed traveling together, from jumping into the Ord River in Australia to attending the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria, as well as numerous visits to China, India and Africa. They also organized many family trips, notably to Crete, where his parents grew up before immigrating to America in 1920. Veronis recalled that despite limited means, he and his five siblings had a happy childhood in growing up in Easton, Pa. Always looking for ways to contribute, he worked after school from the age of 10 and became known throughout his community for his engaging sense of humor, especially when it came to of a sale. He showed up at Lafayette College as a day student by convincing the local bus company to let him sell ads on their buses. After college, he landed a job in New York with the Curtis Publishing Company where he became president.
Veronis developed a great love for opera, starting when he listened to it on the radio as a child, and has been very active with the Metropolitan Opera, where he served as an advisory director. He was also an avid tennis player and loved to swim in the ocean. He received an honorary doctorate of letters from Lafayette College and Franklin Pierce University. He also served on the board of directors of Technion University in Israel and was proud to have helped establish the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in Manhattan. Education was very important to Veronis, who set up a scholarship fund in Lafayette. He was also a director of Carnegie Hall. In addition to his beloved wife Lauren, Veronis is survived by her three children from her first marriage to Sarah Shepard; his daughter Jane Veronis, his son John James Veronis and his son Nicholas Veronis and his wife Sophie. Veronis is also survived by her stepdaughter Perri and husband Eric Ruttenberg, stepdaughter Alexandra Peltz Gelb and stepson Harlan Peltz. Between his six children, fourteen grandchildren remember him with love: Madeleine, Catherine, Nicholas, Angelica, Santiago John, Anna, John James, Jacob, Noah, Ethan, Jonathan, Aaron, Jordan and Tobias. He is also survived by his older sister, Mary Thompson, and younger brother Alexander. He is predeceased by his brothers, Peter and George, and his sister Eleanor. The family does not request flowers, instead a donation can be made on their behalf to the Metropolitan Opera Association Education Fund, the American Technion Society, or the John J. Veronis Scholarship Fund at Lafayette College.
Note: This obituary was printed in the NYT, provided to TNH by the family.