John James Veronis was born March 6, 1928 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania. He was one of six children of Greek immigrants; his father, Nicholas, had been a writer but had taken jobs in a fur factory and restaurants in the United States; his mother, Angeliki (Eftimakis) Veronis, was a housewife.
After graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, John moved to Manhattan, where he was hired by Popular Science magazine and quickly became its director of advertising. He moved to Field and Stream, then to The American House, a monthly magazine where he made a major publishing breakthrough by bringing publicity to Procter & Gamble. He became an editor; several years after the magazine’s acquisition by Curtis Publishing, he became president of the company’s magazine division.
After leaving Curtis, he spent nearly two years at the advertising giant, Interpublic Group of Companies, where he conducted research into what motivates consumers. His findings revealed, among other things, the potential market for a psychology magazine.
Coincidentally, in 1967, Nicolas Charney was attempting to launch Psychology Today. Mr Charney, who had a doctorate in biology and biopsychology and knew Mr Veronis’ brother George, a prominent oceanographer, asked Mr Veronis for help. Mr. Veronis guided him to business and traffic experts; Once publication of the magazine began, Mr. Charney contacted him again.
“We had a tiger by the tail, but our debts were increasing,” Charney recalled by telephone. “So I said, ‘Let’s join forces. I’ll give you half of my stock and we’ll move forward on a level playing field. He joined and in two weeks he raised $ 1 million.