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Lila Acheson Wallace
1890 - 1984

She Co-Founded the Reader's Digest with 100 Million Readers

Much of the success of the partnership of Lila Bell Acheson Wallace and her husband DeWitt Wallace was attributed to Lila by her husband. And even though the idea for the Reader's Digest was her husband's, it was she who added the impetus for their success. ■ Both saw their brain child become the most remarkable publication in history with 100 million circulation. It was printed in many different languages in 150 countries. ■ Lila Bell Acheson was born in 1890 in Virden, Manitoba, Canada. Like her husband, Mrs. Wallace had a father who was a Presbyterian minister. She attended West Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon. ■ Mrs. Wallace was proud of her Scottish ancestry. Her mother's maiden name was Bell. She said she had written proof of descent from the Scottish Earl of Athlone. ■ Lila and DeWitt Wallace were married October 15, 1921. She shared with her husband the belief that success depends a great deal on how well you order your life; this is reflected in the Reader's Digest they founded, which extols the value of the Presbyterian ethic of God, country and home.■ The Wallaces devoted the latter part of their lives to the distribution of the fortune they had earned through the Reader's Digest. They had no children, and it is estimated that they gave away $60 million during their lifetimes. ■ For her philanthropic work Mrs. Wallace was given the United States' highest civilian award. She was also honored by the French government for her contributions to French charities. She died at the Wallace home at Mount Kisco, New York, in May, 1984.
 

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546

2014