New Magazine Helps People 'Give A Damn'

ByABC News via logo

Oct. 4, 2006— -- Imagine both of your parents dying before your 25th birthday and leaving you with millions.

It happened to Ben Goldhirsh, who decided he wants to use the money to honor his parents' entrepreneurial spirits and their commitment to philanthropy. He's doing that by publishing a new magazine called "Good," on news stands now. Godhirsch says 100 percent of readers subscription fees will be donated to charity.

That's not the way most people would choose to spend an inheritance. But Goldhirsh is not your average 26-year-old; he's a multi-millionaire on a mission to make a difference. His cause, in his words, is to make his peers "give a damn" and his magazine is championing the cause.

"We really want to do a lot of good and like have a tangible effect and just basically support cool people doing cool things," Goldhirsh said, explaining why he wanted to start the magazine. "Whether it be in, music, art, politics, you know, non-profit sector of business, you know, across the spectrum."

"The fact that [being] 'good' somehow, you know, is soft today; like how do-gooder is a pejorative. That, that was always troubling to us, and we wanted to just kind of give 'good' some teeth, give it some pop and give it some sex," he said.

"Good," the magazine, tackles the tough issues of our time using provocative and clever tongue-in-cheek devices that get you to pay attention. There's "political NASCAR," illustrations that show a senator's campaign contributions from various companies displayed like endorsement patches.

The magazine also features gadgets that are eco-friendly and even a unique take on our modern-day pop-culture icons.

"It's got a sense of humor to it," Goldhirsh said. "It's got an edge to it and it's got, got some push to it.

Goldhirsh is following in his father's footsteps. Bernie Goldhirsh was a publishing legend who founded Inc. Magazine. Despite his huge success, Bernie Goldhirsh, the son of a machinist never forgot where he came from and made sure his children didn't either.

When the younger Goldhirsh wanted to have a lemonade stand, his father charged him rent to use a table.

"He was a businessman, you know. He definitely wanted to lay that out for me," Goldhirsh said. "I think he always kind of resented the fact that I was coming up in an easier situation than he came up in and so would always try to make it, you know ... try to put those challenges out there and try to make it more realistic."

When the older Goldhirsh shut down Inc. Magazine, he gave his employees $20 million.

"I think he really appreciated how, how critical everyone at the magazine was to the magazine's success," the younger Goldhirsh said.

In 2003, Goldhirsh's father lost his battle with brain cancer and his mother Wendy died from stomach cancer a few years earlier.

"I think the interesting thing about being close to death is it certainly reflects or affects your perspective on life and really, it hammers home the idea that this is a ... zero sum game," he said. "Every day you live, you got one day."

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