Editor, Author, Historian, & Conservationist

Born January 22, 1930. Montreal, Canada

Nationalities USA, Canada

Occupation Editor, writer, historian, conservationist

Chairman, International Skiing History Association

Years active 1954 –

Known for magazine editing


As a boy John Fry rode the world’s first rope tow at Shawbridge, Quebec, starting an involvement in skiing that has lasted 80 years. He has written more than 300 published articles and opinion columns about the sport.

In 1968, when editor-in-chief of SKI Magazine, he originated the National Standard Ski Race (NASTAR), similar to par in golf, now operated at more than a hundred ski areas under the governance of the U.S. Ski Team. In 1967 he created the Nations Cup, a way to measure the annual performance of national teams competing in the FIS World Cup of alpine skiing. As SKI’s editor, he was instrumental in initiating the Graduated Length Method (GLM) by which novices were taught to ski on a progression from short to long skis.

Fry was the founding Editor of Snow Country, published between 1988 and 1999 under the ownership of the New York Times Company, and named in 1991 by the Acres of Diamonds Awards as one of America’s best new magazines.

As Editor of Snow Country and an elected director of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, he helped to initiate two national conferences on the environmental impact of the rapid growth in mountain living. At the same time he devised the idea of measuring the economics and demographics of counties containing the majority of U.S. ski resorts.

He is the author of The Story of Modern Skiing, defining the revolution in resorts, equipment, technique, and competition after World War II.

Boards of Directors:

Chairman, International Skiing History Association (ISHA), 2014 —
President, ISHA, 2001–2004, 2011-2014.
Director, Pinchot Institute for Conservation, 1994 – 1999.
Director, Riverkeeper, 1992 – 2000.
Director, Beaver Dam Sanctuary, 1995 – present

Articles Published:
Between 1959 and today Fry has written more than 300 published articles and columns for SKI, Snow Country and Skiing History (formerly Skiing Heritage) magazines, as well as for Sport Magazine, the New York Times, Ski Business and other periodicals.
Columnist, Ski Area Management Magazine, 1987-92.
Articles on Sir Arnold Lunn
The Priest Won, Commonweal Magazine, June 5, 2009,
Up and Down the Holy Mountains, The Tablet, December 2009.
Race of the Unbroken, Backcountry Magazine, 2012.

Books by John Fry:
A Mind at Sea. Henry Fry and the glorious era of Quebec-built giant sailing ships. 256 pages, with illustrations, Dundurn Press, Toronto, 2013.
The Story of Modern Skiing 380 pages, with photos. University Press of New England, 2006.
No Hill Too Fast, with Phil and Steve Mahre, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1985.
Winners on the Ski Slopes, a Picture Life Book, 1979.

Magazine Editor:
Editorial Board: Skiing History Magazine, 2002 —
Senior Contributing Editor, columnist, SKI Magazine, 1999 to 2011.
Editor of New Magazine Development for the New York Times Sports and Leisure Trends Magazine Group, 1996 – 98. Founding Editor of Golf Course Living Magazine.
Founding Editor of Snow Country Magazine, 1988 – 96. In the summer of 1987, the New York Times Co. retained Fry as an editorial consultant to create the content and design of a new magazine, Snow Country, aimed at skiers and visitors to the mountains. Following publication of the premier issue in January 1988, he became the full-time editor-in-chief. Snow Country, which attained a circulation of 450,000, ceased publication in 1999 after being sold to another publisher.
Start-up editor of European Travel & Life, 1985, published by Mark Inabnit, who sold it to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., then circulation was integrated with Conde Nast Traveler.
Start-up editor for The Golf Club Magazine, a controlled circulation magazine for golfers belonging to private country clubs, launched in 1987.
Veronis Suhler & Associates – Editorial consultant for the annual Communications Industry Forecast, 1985 – 90.
Magazine-editing columnist for Folio, the magazine of publishing management, 1985 – 88.
Director of Publications Development for Times Mirror Magazines, and Editorial Director of Outdoor Life, SKI and GOLF Magazines, 1972 – 83, with circulations ranging from 400,000 to 1.8 million, overseeing their editorial content, graphics and staffing. During this period, he created two new publications: Action Vacations and Cross-Country Ski.
Editor-in-chief or Editorial Director, SKI Magazine, and Ski Business Magazine, 1965 – 1980.
Editorial Director, GOLF Magazine, 1969-72.
American Metal Market, daily newspaper, New York City. Non-ferrous metals markets editor, 1958-60; Managing Editor, 1961– 1963.
Forster, McGuire & Co., public relations and custom publications, Montreal, 1952-57.

Elected to U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, 1995.
Recipient of the North American SnowSports Journalists Golden Quill Award for contributions to the advancement of skiing.
Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Skiing History Association.
Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) Journalism Award, 1997.

Sunday homilies delivered at Croton Falls, NY, Presbyterian Church.
Convention speaker, United States Ski Association, National Ski Areas Association.

Here & There, Exhibition of Photography at Katonah Village Library, Katonah, NY, 2012. Pictures available at

Born: January 22, 1930, Montreal.
Parents: James Stevenson Fry and Beatrice Pratt. Sister Janet Fry.
Attended Lower Canada College, Montreal, 1936–1947.
McGill University, 1947-51. Scholarship 1948. Bachelor of Arts Degree, 1951.
Married to Ann Lyons, 1952–1958. Children: Leslie Stevenson Fry and William Lyons Fry. Divorced.
Emigrated to U.S., New York, 1957.
Married Marlies Strillinger 1965. Daughter, Nicole Maria Fry.
Resided in Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan. Moved in 1981 to Katonah, NY, where he built a passive solar home, featured in Solar Today Magazine, May 2008.
In 2015, he rebuilt a home in the historic district of Katonah village, where he now resides.


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