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Among the important nonfiction authors who began writing for the magazine during Shawn's editorship were Dwight Macdonald, Kenneth Tynan, and Hannah Arendt; to a certain extent all three authors were controversial, Arendt the most obviously so (her Eichmann in Jerusalem reportage appeared in the magazine before it was published as a book), but in each case Shawn proved an active champion.
Kurt Vonnegut said that The New Yorker has been an effective instrument for getting a large audience to appreciate modern literature.
The magazine's first offices were at 25 West 45th Street in Manhattan. During the early, occasionally precarious years of its existence, the magazine prided itself on its cosmopolitan sophistication.
Ross famously declared in a 1925 prospectus for the magazine: "It has announced that it is not edited for the old lady in Dubuque." Although the magazine never lost its touches of humor, it soon established itself as a pre-eminent forum for serious fiction literature and journalism.
First issue's cover with dandy Eustace Tilley, created by Rea Irvin.
The image, or a variation of it, appeared on the cover of The New Yorker with every anniversary issue until 2017, when Tilley wasn't depicted in protest of Executive Order 13769 (a variation appeared two issues later).