The Astrophysical Journal was begun in 1895 by George E. Hale and James E. Keeler. A scientific success from its beginnings, it remains to this day one of the most prominent research journals devoted to astronomy and astrophysics. Until 1971 when the journal was turned over to the American Astronomical Society, the Astrophysical Journal was owned by the University of Chicago Press.
Generally, the director of Yerkes Observatory served as the managing editor of the journal. In 1902, Edwin B. Frost became an editor for the journal. He took over as managing editor and director of Yerkes Observatory in 1905, when George E. Hale left to found the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory. Hale remained on the masthead, and in 1912 Frost added Henry G. Gale of the University of Chicago physics department as a third editor-causing many astrophysical jokes about the ‘icy triumvirate’ of editors Hale, Gale, and Frost. Frost served as the managing editor of the Astrophysical Journal until his retirement in 1932, after which Otto Struve took over as Director of Yerkes Observatory and managing editor of the journal. In 1947, Struve initiated a reorganization in which he gave up his position as managing editor of the Astrophysical Journal to his student, W. W. Morgan. This was the first time the managing editor was not the director of Yerkes Observatory. Morgan served as managing editor for five years, after which he was replaced by S. Chandrasekhar. Chandrasekhar served as the managing editor of the Astrophysical Journal until 1971, when he engineered the agreement to turn the journal over to the American Astronomical Society.
From the guide to the Astrophysical Journal. Records, 1894-1951, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)