The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology, and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society's logo is a yellow portrait frame—rectangular in shape—which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its television channel logo. In partnership with The Walt Disney Company, the Society operates the magazine, TV channels, a website, worldwide events, and other media operations.
|National Geographic Society|
|Formation||January 13, 1888|
|Headquarters||1145 17th Street N.W. Washington, D.C., United States|
|Board of Trustees|
The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge". It is governed by a board of trustees, whose 21 members include distinguished educators, business executives, former government officials and conservationists. The organization sponsors and funds scientific research and exploration. National Geographic maintains a museum for the public in its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
It has helped to sponsor popular traveling exhibits, such as the early 2010s King Tut exhibit featuring artifacts from the tomb of the young Egyptian Pharaoh; The Cultural Treasures of Afghanistan which opened in May 2008 and traveled to other cities for 18 months; and an exhibition of China's Terracotta Warriors in its Washington headquarters in 2009–10. Its Education Foundation gives grants to education organizations and individuals to improve geography education. Its Committee for Research and Exploration has awarded more than 11,000 grants for scientific research and exploration.
National Geographic has retail stores in Washington, D.C., London, Sydney, and Panama. The locations outside of the United States are operated by Worldwide Retail Store S.L., a Spanish holding company.
The Society's media arm is National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Walt Disney Television and the Society, which publishes a journal, National Geographic in English, and nearly 40 local-language editions. It also publishes other magazines, books, school products, maps, and Web and film products in numerous languages and countries. National Geographic's various media properties reach more than 280 million people monthly.
The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel and exploration. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to organize "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, succeeded him in 1897.
In 1899, Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years (until 1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since. Bell and Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines.
The chairman of the National Geographic Society is Jean Case. Michael Ulica is interim president and chief executive. The editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine is Susan Goldberg. Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, a former chairman, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his leadership in geography education.
In 2004, the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., was one of the first buildings to receive a "Green" certification from Global Green USA. The National Geographic received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in October 2006 in Oviedo, Spain.
In 2013 the society was investigated for possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to their close association with an Egyptian government official responsible for antiquities.
On September 9, 2015, the Society announced that it would re-organize its media properties and publications into a new company known as National Geographic Partners, which would be majority-owned by 21st Century Fox with a 73% stake. This new, for-profit corporation, would own National Geographic and other magazines, as well as its affiliated television networks—most of which were already owned in joint ventures with Fox (and later Disney, which later acquired a majority of Fox's assets in 2019, including a stake in National Geographic Partners.). As a consequence, the Society and 21st Century Fox announced on November 2, 2015, that 9 percent of National Geographic's 2,000 employees, approximately 180 people, would be laid off, constituting the biggest staff reduction in the Society's history.
The Society has helped sponsor many expeditions and research projects over the years, including:
The Society supports many socially based projects including AINA, a Kabul-based organization dedicated to developing an independent Afghan media, which was founded by one of the Society's most famous photographers, Reza.
The Society also organizes the National Geographic Bee, an annual geographic contest for U.S. fourth- through eighth-graders. About 4 million students a year begin the geography competition locally, which culminates in a national competition of the winners of each state each May in Washington, D.C. Journalist Soledad O'Brien is the moderator of the Bee. She succeeded Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, who moderated the final round of the competition for 25 years, from its inception in 1989 to 2013. Every two years, the Society conducts an international geography competition of competing teams from all over the world. The most recent was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2013, and had representatives from 19 national teams. The team from the United States emerged as the winner, with teams from Canada and India in second and third place.
The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the first National Geographic Society president. The Hubbard Medal has been presented 44 times as of 2018, the most recent award going to Peter H. Raven.
The National Geographic Society also awards, rarely, the Alexander Graham Bell Medal, for exceptional contributions to geographic research. The award is named after Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, inventor and the second president of the NGS. Up to mid-2011, the medal has been twice presented:
The Society operates the National Geographic Museum, located at 1145 17th Street, NW (17th and M), in Washington, D.C. The museum features changing exhibitions featuring the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists. There are also changing exhibits related to natural history, culture, history or society. Permanent exhibits include artifacts like the camera Robert Peary used at the North Pole and pottery that Jacques Cousteau recovered from a shipwreck.
National Geographic Partners, a for-profit joint venture between 21st Century Fox (which owns a 73% stake) and the Society (which owns 27%), was established in 2015 to handle commercial activities of the Society, including television channels worldwide (which were already co-owned by the Society and Fox) and magazine publications. The Walt Disney Company acquired Fox’s share of National Geographic Partners in March 2019.
Most of National Geographic Partners' businesses predate the establishment in 2015, and even the launch of National Geographic Channel in Asia and Europe by the original News Corporation (which 21st Century Fox is one of the successors followed by Disney in the late 1990s.
The National Geographic Magazine, later shortened to National Geographic, published its first issue in October 1888, nine months after the Society was founded, as the Society's official journal, a benefit for joining the tax-exempt National Geographic Society. Starting with the February 1910 (Vol XXI, No. 2) issue, the magazine began using its now famous trademarked yellow border around the edge of its covers.
There are 12 monthly issues of National Geographic per year. The magazine contains articles about geography, popular science, world history, culture, current events and photography of places and things all over the world and universe. National Geographic magazine is currently published in 40 local-language editions in many countries around the world. Combined English and other language circulation is around 6.8 million monthly, with some 60 million readers.
In addition to its flagship magazine, the Society publishes several other periodicals:
The Society also ran an online daily news outlet called National Geographic News.
Additionally, the Society publishes atlases, books, and maps. It previously published and co-published other magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Research (a scientific journal), and others, and continues to publish special issues of various magazines.
National Geographic Films is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of the National Geographic Society. Films it has produced include:
In 2005, the National Geographic Society acquired the film distribution arm of Destination Cinema and entered the film distribution business.
Television programs produced by the National Geographic Society are also broadcast on television. National Geographic television specials and series have been aired on PBS and other networks in the United States and globally for many years. The Geographic series in the U.S. started on CBS in 1964, moved to ABC in 1973, shifted to PBS (produced by WQED, Pittsburgh) in 1975, shifted to NBC in 1995, and returned to PBS in 2000.
It has featured stories on numerous scientific figures such as Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall, and Louis Leakey that not only featured their work but as well helped make them world-famous and accessible to millions. Most of the specials were narrated by various actors, including Glenn Close, Linda Hunt, Stacy Keach, Richard Kiley, Burgess Meredith, Susan Sarandon, Alexander Scourby, Martin Sheen, and Peter Strauss. The specials' theme music, by Elmer Bernstein, was also adopted by the National Geographic Channel.
The original News Corporation launched National Geographic Channel in Asia and Europe in the late 1990s, in partnership with the Society. The Society provides programming to the National Geographic-branded channels worldwide, while Fox Networks Group handles distribution of the channels and advertisement sales. The National Geographic Channel has begun to launch a number of sub-branded channels in international markets, such as Nat Geo Adventure, Nat Geo Music, and Nat Geo Wild.
National Geographic Music and Radio (NGMR) is the music and radio division of National Geographic Ventures. The scope of the division includes National Geographic Live! events, digital music distribution, music publishing, radio content, Nat Geo Music TV channel (available in parts of Asia and Europe) and film and TV music. Clear Channel, Salem Communications and NPR were distribution partners.
In early August 2007, National Geographic Ventures announced the existence of the then-recently formed division. The division was already creating music for its feature film and kids units. Initially hired to run the division were Mark Bauman, executive vice president of radio and video production, and David Beal, head of music labels, publishing and radio operations.
Though he wasn't one of the original 33 founders, Bell had a major influence on the Society.
Animal Jam is an online virtual world developed by WildWorks. It was originally launched in 2010, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. With about 160 million registered players, Animal Jam is one of the fastest-growing online children's properties in the world. Animal Jam is free to play using most of the game's features, but exclusives can only be obtained by purchasing a membership.
In Animal Jam, players discover and learn various facts about zoology using the game's numerous features, including mini-games, adventures, parties, and social interactions. Due to its growing popularity, Animal Jam has spawned different types of merchandise, including figurine toys, children's books, and a subscription box.
Although Animal Jam is primarily played online, the Animal Jam universe has been expanded to incorporate mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and iOS devices. The most popular Animal Jam mobile app is Play Wild which is a 3D version of the Animal Jam world. However, WildWorks has also developed other apps that are based on the Animal Jam game.Beinn Bhreagh
Beinn Bhreagh ( ben VREE-ə) is the name of the former estate of Alexander Graham Bell, in Victoria County, Nova Scotia. It refers to a peninsula jutting into Cape Breton Island's scenic Bras d'Or Lake approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) southeast of the village of Baddeck, forming the southeastern shore of Baddeck Bay.
The peninsula was known to the Mi'kmaq as Megwatpatek, roughly translated to "Red Head" due to the reddish sandstone rocks at the tip of the peninsula. The name Beinn Bhreagh—meaning "Beautiful Mountain" in Scottish Gaelic—is thought to have been given to the peninsula by Dr Bell, who purchased approximately 242.8 hectares (600 acres) to form the estate in the late 1880s.
In July 2005, the Nova Scotia Civic Address Project review changed the status of Beinn Bhreagh from a "generic locality" to a "community".Free Solo
Free Solo is a 2018 American documentary film directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The film profiles rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest to perform a free solo climb of El Capitan in June 2017. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2018, and also screened at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award in the Documentaries category. It was released in the United States on September 28, 2018, received positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $21 million. The film received numerous accolades, including winning Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards. The film is available to stream in the United States through the National Geographic TV channel app and website, on Hulu, and will also be available to stream on the upcoming Disney+ service at launch.Gardiner Greene Hubbard
Gardiner Greene Hubbard (August 25, 1822 – December 11, 1897) was an American lawyer, financier, and community leader.He was a founder and first president of the National Geographic Society; a founder and the first president of the Bell Telephone Company which later evolved into AT&T, at times the world's largest telephone company; a founder of the journal Science, and an advocate of oral speech education for the deaf.One of his daughters, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, also became the wife of Alexander Graham Bell.Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (; October 28, 1875 – February 4, 1966), father of photojournalism, was the first full-time editor of National Geographic (1899–1954). Grosvenor is credited with having built the magazine into the iconic publication that it is today.
As President of the National Geographic Society, he assisted its rise to one of the world's largest and best known science and learning organizations, aided by the chronicling in its magazine of ambitious natural and cultural explorations around the globe.Gilbert Melville Grosvenor
Gilbert Melville Grosvenor (born May 5, 1931) he is the former president and chairman of the National Geographic Society after having served as the editor of National Geographic Magazine. In 2011, he retired after 23 years as Chairman of the Society.Grosvenor has received 14 honorary doctorates and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his leadership in geography education. "As the world grows smaller and more interdependent daily, our country's future absolutely depends on our ability to see the connections between ourselves and our global neighbors," Grosvenor told an interviewer recently.Henry Gannett
Henry Gannett (August 24, 1846 – November 5, 1914) was an American geographer who is described as the "Father of the Quadrangle" which is the basis for topographical maps in the United States.Hubbard Medal
The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, first National Geographic Society president.List of ecoregions in Pakistan
This is a list of ecoregions of Pakistan.Melville Bell Grosvenor
Melville Bell Grosvenor (November 26, 1901 – April 22, 1982) was the president of the National Geographic Society and editor of The National Geographic Magazine from 1957 to 1967. He was the grandson of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
A photography enthusiast, he increased the size of printed photographs in the magazine, and initiated the practice, that continues to this day, of opening articles with a two-page photo feature. He reduced the name of the publication from The National Geographic Magazine to National Geographic. Under Grosvenor's tenure, National Geographic also began to branch out from land expeditions to cover investigations into space and the deep sea.
Grosvenor expanded the scope of the society's operations, branching into the production of documentaries bearing the National Geographic name, which began airing on television. Four of these were produced per year. Among the features produced during Grosvenor's presidency were documentaries covering the first American expedition to Mount Everest and Jacques Cousteau's underwater exploits.National Geographic
National Geographic (formerly the National Geographic Magazine and branded also as NAT GEO) is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society. It has been published continuously since its first issue in 1888, nine months after the Society itself was founded. It primarily contains articles about science, geography, history, and world culture. The magazine is known for its thick square-bound glossy format with a yellow rectangular border and its extensive use of dramatic photographs. Controlling interest in the magazine has been held by The Walt Disney Company since 2019.
The magazine is published monthly, and additional map supplements are also included with subscriptions. It is available in a traditional printed edition and through an interactive online edition. On occasion, special editions of the magazine are issued.
As of 2015, the magazine was circulated worldwide in nearly 40 local-language editions and had a global circulation of approximately 6.5 million per month according to data published by The Washington Post (down from about 12 million in the late 1980s) or 6.7 million according to National Geographic. This includes a US circulation of 3.5 million.National Geographic (South Korean TV channel)
National Geographic Channel is a South Korean subscription television channel that airs non-fiction television programs produced by the National Geographic Society. It is owned by NGC Networks Korea, LLC, a joint venture between the National Geographic Society (NGC) and Fox Networks Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
Prior to the launch of NGC in South Korea, video documentaries produced by National Geographic Society were broadcast on the terrestrial TV channels. Previously, a Pan-Asian version, operated by STAR TV (a News Corporation subsidiary), was available to South Korean viewers. However, it was replaced by a dedicated local version broadcast from Seoul in February 2004.
The South Korean version broadcasts documentaries by National Geographic, all dubbed in Korean. But because of South Korean regulations, it also airs South Korean productions.
The South Korean version is available on SkyLife satellite TV platform and on local cable TV systems nationwide. Outside South Korea, a version of NGC Korea, distributed by Radio Korea Media Group, is available on DirecTV (once a News Corp subsidiary) in the United States alongside the U.S. version, and is part of the Korean Direct package.National Geographic (TV network)
National Geographic (formerly National Geographic Channel and also commercially abbreviated and trademarked as Nat Geo or Nat Geo TV) is an American digital cable and satellite television network and flagship channel that is owned by Walt Disney Television through National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and National Geographic Society (27%).The flagship channel airs non-fiction television programs produced by National Geographic and other production companies. Like History and Discovery Channel, the channel features documentaries with factual content involving nature, science, culture, and history, plus some reality and pseudo-scientific entertainment programming. Its primary sister network worldwide, including the United States, is Nat Geo Wild, which focuses on animal-related programming, including the popular Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.
As of February 2015, National Geographic is available to approximately 86,144,000 pay television households (74% of households with television) in the United States.National Geographic Adventure (magazine)
National Geographic Adventure was a magazine started in 1999 by the National Geographic Society in the United States. The first issue was published in Spring 1999. Regular publication of the magazine ended in December 2009, and the name was reused for a biannual newsstand publication. The last issue was December 2009/January 2010.National Geographic Farsi
National Geographic Farsi is a free-to-air documentary channel that started broadcasting on October 15, 2011 and was shut down on May 1, 2013, and relaunched on September 1, 2017. It is the official Persian language edition of the National Geographic Channel. The channel broadcast via Eutelsat W3A. Whilst the channel was aimed to be broadcast for a Persian-speaking audience in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the channel's broadcast was actually based in Dubai, U.A.E..
It was co-owned by the National Geographic Society/Fox Networks Group. During the channel's shutdown, the Persian edition of the National Geographic magazine, which launched later in 2012, remained in circulation.National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids is a children's magazine published by the National Geographic Society. Its first issue was printed in September 1975 under the original title National Geographic World (which itself replaced the much older National Geographic School Bulletin, published weekly during the school year from 1919 to 1975; currently National Geographic produces a separate magazine for classroom use called "National Geographic Explorer," in four separate editions for different grades).
The magazine was published for twenty-six years as National Geographic World, until the title of the magazine was changed in 2002 to National Geographic Kids. In a broad sense, the publication is a version of National Geographic, the flagship magazine of the National Geographic Society, that is intended for children.National Geographic Partners
National Geographic Partners, LLC is a joint venture of Walt Disney Company (which owns 73% of shares) and the namesake non-profit scientific organization National Geographic Society (which owns 27%). The company oversees all commercial activities related to the Society, including magazine publications and television channels.
The company was originally established by 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society; on March 20, 2019, Disney assumed Fox's share after acquiring Fox.National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
The National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (NGS-POSS) was a major astronomical survey, that took almost 2,000 photographic plates of the night sky. It was conducted at Palomar Observatory, California, United States, and completed by the end of 1958.National Geographic Traveler
National Geographic Traveler is a magazine published by the National Geographic Partners in the United States. It was launched in 1984. Local-language editions of National Geographic Traveler are published in Armenia, Belgium/the Netherlands, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Latin America, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Spain. A UK edition launched in December 2010. National Geographic Traveler's main competitors are Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.
Keith Bellows was the editor-in-chief until October 2014. Executive editor Norie Quintos was named acting editor-in-chief before Maggie Zackowitz was appointed editor-in-chief in May 2015. Longtime contributor George Stone was named editor-in-chief on January 27, 2016.Other contributors include Christopher Elliott, Deena Guzder, Carl Hoffman, Boyd Matson, and Andrew McCarthy.
National Geographic Society
Major English-language science and technology magazines