Stefan Lorant

Stefan Lorant

Stefan Lorant was born in Budapest, Hungary, on 22nd February, 1901. He worked as a filmmaker in Germany before becoming a photo journalist.

An opponent of Adolf Hitler, Lorant was arrested and imprisoned in 1933. After being released Lorant moved to London. A book about his experiences in Nazi Germany, was recorded in I Was Hitler's Prisoner (1935).

In 1937 Lorant launched Lilliput with £1,200 lent to him by a girl friend. Although it sold well it carried no advertising and lost money. Sydney Jacobson joined the magazine and invested his savings in the venture. Tom Hopkinson later pointed out: " Stefan Lorant, was a Hungarian Jew - one of a small and brilliant band who left their country after the First World War because they found its political climate oppressive, and Hungary too small to give scope to their talents."

Unable to make a profit the magazine Lorant sold Lilliput to Edward Hulton for £20,000 in 1938. Hulton then employed Lorant and Tom Hopkinson to establish a new journal, Picture Post. The magazine was an immediate success and after four months was selling 1,350,000 copies a week.

Lorant emigrated to the United States in 1940. He published a series of pictorial history books including Lincoln: His Life in Photographs (1951), The New World; the First Pictures of America (1965) and Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City (1999).

Stefan Lorant died on 14th November, 1997.

© , September 1997 - April 2014

Primary Sources

(1) Tom Hopkinson, Picture Post: 1938-50 (1970)

The idea of Picture Post - most British of magazines - came from abroad. Its first editor, Stefan Lorant, was a Hungarian Jew - one of a small and brilliant band who left their country after the First World War because they found its political climate oppressive, and Hungary too small to give scope to their talents; and the paper's two first cameramen, Hans Baumann (or Felix H. Man as he signed himself) and Kurt Hubschmann (K. Hutton), were both Germans who had mastered their craft on magazines in Berlin and Munich.