Roy Reiman grew up on a rented farm near Auburn, Iowa, and attended a small rural high school with just 63 students and only 11 in his class. His high school English teacher spotted his talent for writing, and urged him to become her first college journalism student.
He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Agricultural Journalism, and after military service, he became the Managing Editor of Capper’s Farmer magazine in Topeka, Kansas at age 23.
After moving on to Milwaukee and working for a publishing firm there, he left to start his own publishing company, beginning in the basement of his home. That was the start of Reiman Publications, which grew to be the largest subscription-supported publishing firm in the United States.
It led to the launch of 14 national magazines-Country, Reminisce, Taste of Home, etc.–unique in that none of them contained any advertising; all of them were supported solely by subscriptions. Experts in the publishing industry said that could never be done…but Roy proved the naysayers wrong, big-time.
By 2004, more than 16 million people subscribed to his magazines. One out of every 8 homes in America received at least one of the Reiman magazines.
Roy sold the company in 2004, and took a sabbatical during which he wrote a book about his life’s experiences–describing his failures as well as his successes–traveled around the world…became involved in various non-profit boards…and worked on his golf handicap.
But as he puts it, “I totally flunked retirement”, and eventually started two new magazines–one for his home state of Iowa, and then in January of this year, one for his adopted state of Wisconsin. His family’s foundation has actively funded programs dealing with health, education, and community improvements.
Roy and Bobbi Reiman have been generous supporters of Iowa State University. In 1993, they provided funds to establish the Reiman Gardens and in 2002, additional funds to establish the Conservatory and Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. The Reimans provided the lead gift to establish the $13.8 million Iowa State Alumni Center, and they have contributed to the Greenlee School of Journalism, as well as the renovation of Morrill Hall and the Campanile. The Reimans currently support the Reiman Entrepreneur Speaker Series and the Reiman Entrepreneur Internship Program at the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.