A former Texan, raised on a ranch and and a one-time hunter, is the new editor of Harper's Magazine, the erudite, foundation-supported journal of ideas.
Harper's Magazine is an intellectual hothouse that tends to grow its own. The magazine will announce today that Roger D. Hodge, 38, will succeed Lewis H. Lapham as editor in April, and Mr. Hodge is no exception. After being turned down for an internship in 1996, he got a call back a few days later and has remained planted at the magazine since, holding a variety of jobs, most recently serving as deputy editor.
Then again, Mr. Hodge was born and raised in Del Rio, Tex., and as the son of a rancher knows his way around cattle, sheep and a gun. The family spread is now a hunting ground, and Mr. Hodge's gimlet eye extends beyond raw copy to the scope of a rifle.
“I'm a very good shot; at least I was when I was a kid,” Mr. Hodge said yesterday, sitting in Lupa restaurant in Manhattan. John R. MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's, said he was happy both that the new editor of the magazine comes from within and that he grew up as an outsider to Manhattan publishing life.
“We have had many talented people here that have gone on to edit other magazines, and I have thought for a long time that Roger was a keeper and that we should make sure that we hang on to him,” Mr. MacArthur said. “And I like the fact that he is from Texas and a ranching family. He was bred to be independent and self-governed, to think for himself, and I think that is a great credential to edit the magazine.”
Mr. Hodge will replace Mr. Lapham, 70, who has run the 155-year-old magazine for nearly 30 years. Mr. Lapham will continue to write a column for the magazine.