Marvin R. Shanken
Founder & Chairman
M. Shanken Communications, Inc.
Marvin R. Shanken, founder and chairman of M. Shanken Communications, Inc. has built one of America’s most influential groups of lifestyle publications—including award-winning Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado and Whisky Advocate—all by sharing his personal pleasures with readers.
After graduating from the University of Miami, he earned an MBA from American University. This led to an early career as an investment banker specializing in real estate and finance. As a partner at a small Wall Street firm, he was involved in a project financing Northern California premium grape vineyards, which sparked a fascination with wine. In 1972, he indulged that very interest and paid $5,000 to buy Impact, a little-known wine and spirits industry research newsletter. Today, Shanken’s Impact Newsletter is read in more than 200 countries.
In 1979, Shanken purchased Wine Spectator, a small periodical covering California wines. Wine Spectator is now the world’s leading authority on wine, delivering expert reviews of 18,000 wines annually and reaching more than 3 million readers worldwide. The brand hosts the web’s most comprehensive wine site, mobile platforms and a series of high-profile signature events.
In 1992, Shanken launched Cigar Aficionado as the definitive lifestyle magazine for men. Dubbed “The Good Life Magazine for Men,” the print publication and its accompanying website focus on luxury lifestyle topics such as golf, travel, alcohol and accessories. Cigar Aficionado also sponsors events such as The Big Smoke, the country’s premier event for cigar smokers.
Whisky Advocate is the leading whiskey magazine in the US and hosts multi-city WhiskyFest™ events, which are the longest-running and best-attended whisky festivals in the country. They feature the finest whiskies from all around the world, poured by the people — the very living legends — who make them.
M. Shanken Communications is a family-owned business that takes great pride in the many charitable endeavors it supports, raising more than $50 million over the past 40 years. In 2017, Shanken was elected to the Board of Trustees at the University of Miami and Chairman of the Els for Autism Foundation. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Napa Valley, M. Shanken Communications also publishes Wine Spectator Insider, Cigar Insider, Cigar Watch, Market Watch and Shanken News Daily.