Charles Laufer, Founder of Tiger Beat, Dies
Charles Laufer, founder of Tiger Beat, passed away at the age of 87, according to the New York Times.
Laufer, a pioneer in the teen-targeted magazine industry, started his career as a high school teacher. Upset that his students had nothing entertaining to read, Laufer started publications in 1955 aimed at giving teenage girls information about their favorite celebrities, beginning with Coaster (which turned into Teen).
Before Justin Bieber and Robert Pattinson came The Beach Boys and The Monkees, but the stories are still the same: who's dating who, what stars look for in girls, and where they go shopping. Laufer's style of excessive exclamation points and cluttered photo collages can still be seen on newsstands and internet today.
Laufer and his brother, Ira, started Tiger Beat in 1965 after selling Teen in 1957. The tag line for the magazine pretty much sums up its stories: "Guys in their 20s singing La La songs to 13-year-old girls."
One of the first people to see The Monkee's true potential, Laufer put them on the cover of Tiger Beat in 1965, which helped shoot the band into stardom and really put the magazine on the map.
The Laufer brothers sold Tiger Beat in 1978 for a reported $15 million, with its circulation around 700,000.
But interest in teen scene publications seems to run in the family. Various family members have owned Bop and other teen magazines, and in 2003 Laufer's son Scott bought Tiger Beat, which is Bop's publisher.
Laufer died April 5 in Northridge, Calif. from heart failure, according to his brother.
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