Iron Liege, the handsome and high-spirited Kentucky Derby entry who is the subject of our lead story this week, had no name when an experimental issue (see cut) of a "new weekly sport magazine," also unnamed, went to press in April 1954. In that dummy, Iron Liege, wet behind the ears and not yet on his feet, played a featured role. But he had already picked up a following—the prepublication staff of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which put out its first regular weekly issue four months later.
We couldn't be more pleased with Iron Liege's current eminence, because our report on him now (see page 12) is an endorsement of the thoroughness with which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, long before publication, prepared for its journalistic responsibilities to come—even to the extent of having one of the world's great animal photographers, the late Ylla, on hand to record what may prove to be a significant moment in sport, the appearance of a Derby winner.
Whatever the odds, if Iron Liege starts at Churchill Downs on May 4, he'll carry some bets by admirers on the present staff of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED who "knew him when." For toward this 3-year-old colt, our not-yet-3-year-old magazine feels a twinge of auld lang syne.
Among the 13 "Young Men of Achievement" Philadelphia's Golden Slipper Square Club honored two weeks ago were Richard Bond, president of John Wanamaker; Walter Sheaffer II, president of the Sheaffer Pen Co.; Fred Maytag II, president of the Maytag Co.; Robert Galvin, president of Motorola, Inc.; Sidney L. James, managing editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED; and John B. Kelly Jr., Olympic sculler. During the program Kelly, winner of the award for distinguished achievement in sport, caught the ear of James, winner of the award for distinguished service in journalism. "I was talking to Grace on the phone the other day and asked if Rainier was getting SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. 'NO,' she told me, 'and I'd like to see it too.' So I wonder if you can help me get it there fast?"
Now added to Editor James's achievements in journalism: the expediting of one brand-new SPORTS ILLUSTRATED subscription to the Principality of Monaco. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace thus join a list of titled subscribers which includes, among others, Norway's Prince Olaf, Belgium's Princess de Réthy and Iraq's King Feisal.