Brand, Stewart.

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Biographical/Historical note

Stewart Brand was born December 14, 1938 in Rockford, Illinois. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, a private high school in New Hampshire, and then attended Stanford University where he studied biology. After graduating in 1960 he joined the U.S. Army and was trained as a parachutist. In 1962 he left the U.S. Army and returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue photography. During this time he became involved in the legitimate scientific study on the effects of LSD, the study occurring in Menlo Park, California.

Steward Brand is most well known for being the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly. He also founded numerous organizations, such as the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL), the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation.

He currently lives in Sausalito, California.

From the guide to the Stewart Brand papers, 1954-2000, (Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives)

Historical Note

Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly

Stewart Brand founded the original Whole Earth Catalog in 1968 to provide practical information on tools that would be useful for people creating and living in communes. The Whole Earth Catalog went on to gain wide popularity. All editions of the Catalog sold over 2.5 million copies.

Brand continued to act as editor and publisher of the Catalog through 1972. In 1972 he received the National Book Award for the Last Whole Earth Catalog, which was published by Random House and sold 1.5 million copies. During the same year Brand also founded the Point Foundation, the non-profit organization that runs all Whole Earth activities.

In 1974, Brand edited the Whole Earth Epilog, which was published by Penguin. Between 1980-81, Brand edited The Next Whole Earth Catalog, which was published by Random House.

During the 1970's Brand was also an advisor to California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. He conceived and organized "The New Games Tournament," and wrote "Two Cybernetic Frontiers," a book about Gregory Bateson.

Between 1974-85, Brand founded, edited, and published CoEvolution Quarterly, which continued as the Whole Earth Review (1985), then later as the Whole Earth Magazine. The CoEvolution Quarterly included a mix of articles, book reviews and lists of resources.

During the years 1983-85, Brand was the editor-in-chief of the Whole Earth Software Catalog. According to Stewart Brand's resume (see below), he founded the Whole Earth Software Review about this time, but unfortunately, it "failed conspicuously." However, it was continued as part of the Whole Earth Review.


Stewart Brand

  • 14 Dec 1938: Born, Rockford, Illinois, USA.
  • 1954 - 56 : Phillips Exeter Academy.
  • 1960: Graduated in Biology, Stanford University.
  • 1960 - 62 : Active duty, U.S. Army officer. Qualified Airborne and took up skydiving. Taught basic infantry training and worked as photojournalist out of the Pentagon.
  • 1962 - 68 : Created sundry multi-media performances ("America Needs Indians," "War:God") and public events ("Trips Festival," "Whatever It Is,""World War IV"), and collaborated on museum exhibits ("Astronomia," "We Are All 1").
  • 1966: Conceived and sold buttons which read, "Why Haven't We Seen A Photograph of the Whole Earth Yet?" Legend has it that this accelerated NASA's making good color photos of Earth from distant space during the Apollo program and that the ecology movement took shape in 1968-9 partially as a result of those photos.
  • 1968 - 72 : Founded, edited, and published the original Whole Earth Catalog.
  • 1972: Received National Book Award for The Last Whole Earth Catalog, Random House. 1.5 million copies sold. (All editions sales were over 2.5 million; a Millennium Whole Earth Catalog came out in 1994, with a foreword by me.)
  • 1972: Founded Point Foundation, which gave away $1 million in three years to assorted effective individuals. Point is the non-profit foundation which runs all the Whole Earth activities. (It no longer has money to give away, alas.)
  • 1973: Conceived and organized "The New Games Tournament," which resulted in two books, New Games and More New Games, by Andrew Fluegelman.
  • 1974: Authored Two Cybernetic Frontiers, Random House---on Gregory Bateson and cutting-edge computer science. It had the first use of the term "personal computer" in print and was the first book to report on computer hackers.
  • 1974: Edited and published the Whole Earth Epilog, Penguin.
  • 1974 - 85 : Founded, edited, and published CoEvolution Quarterly. (It continues as Whole Earth Magazine.)
  • 1976: Edited Space Colonies and co-edited Soft Tech, Penguin.
  • 1977 - 79 : Advisor to Governor of California Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • 1980 - 81 : Edited and published The Next Whole Earth Catalog, Random House.
  • 1982 - 83 : Founded Uncommon Courtesy: School of Compassionate Skills, which gave sessions on such subjects as "Creative Philanthropy," "Business as Service," "Street Saint Skills."
  • 1982 - 83 : On faculty of School of Management and Strategic Studies, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, California.
  • 1983 - 85 : Editor-in-Chief, Whole Earth Software Catalog, Doubleday. A magazine I founded, Whole Earth Software Review, failed conspicuously.
  • 1984: Founded The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link), a computer teleconference system for the San Francisco Bay Area. It now has 11,000 active users worldwide and is considered a bellwether of the genre---1988 Community Journalism Award from Media Alliance, 1990 Best Online Publication Award from Computer Press Association, 1994 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award. (Others involved in starting The WELL were Larry Brilliant, Matthew McClure, and Kevin Kelly.)
  • 1984: Initiated and organized "The Hackers' Conference," which became a TV special by Fabrice Florin, broadcast nationally. Since 1986 it is an annual event.
  • 1986: Co-editor with Art Kleiner, News That Stayed News, North Point Press-anthology of greatest pieces from CoEvolution.
  • 1986: Visiting Scientist, The Media Laboratory, MIT.
  • 1986 - 89 : Consultant with Group Planning, Royal Dutch/Shell, London.
  • 1987: Author, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, Viking Penguin. Still in print (7th printing). Translated into Japanese, Korean, German, Italian, and Spanish (Spain and Latin America versions); British edition; QPB Selection; Eliot Montroll Award.
  • 1987 - 89 : Organizer of private conference series on Learning in Complex Systems sponsored by strategic planners at Royal Dutch/Shell, Volvo, and AT&T.
  • 1988 - : Co-founder of Global Business Network with Peter Schwartz, Jay Ogilvy, Napier Collyns, and Lawrence Wilkinson. I founded and run the "GBN Book Club." GBN explores global futures and business strategy for 90 multinationals such as Lucent, IBM, Kodak, Monsanto, Disney/ABC, and Daimler-Benz. Most of my time these days is devoted to GBN work.
  • 1988: Author of "Indians and the Counterculture, 1960s-1970s," in History of Indian-White Relations, Vol. 4 in the authoritative Handbook of North American Indians, Smithsonian Institution.
  • 1989 - : Member, Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, the interdisciplinary center studying the sciences of complexity. I am involved in design of the campus build-out.
  • 1989: Received Golden Gadfly Lifetime Achievement Award from Media Alliance, San Francisco.
  • 1990 - 1994 : Member (now emeritus but active) of Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization which supports civil rights and responsibilities in electronic media.
  • 1990 - : Advisor to Ecotrust, Portland-based preservers of temperate rain forest from Alaska to San Francisco.
  • 1994: Author, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built, Viking-Penguin (US) and Orion (UK). Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. SPNEA Prize. Now in paperback.
  • 1995 - : Co-founder with Danny Hillis of The Long Now Foundation to foster long-term responsibility. The core project is Clock/Library, building a 10,000-year Clock (designed by Hillis) and information service. Also on the board are Peter Schwartz, Brian Eno, Douglas Carlston, Esther Dyson, Paul Saffo, Michael Keller, Roger Kennedy, and Kevin Kelly. Serving as president.
  • 1996 - 1997 : Writer and presenter, "How Buildings Learn," 6-part TV series for the BBC. Aired in July-August 1997 on BBC2. Series directed by James Runcie, music by Brian Eno.
  • 1999: Author, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility, Basic Books (US) and Orion (UK). A mosaic of essays exploring the meaning and uses of a 10,000-year "now."

Citation: Brand, Stewart. Resume. The WELL.

From the guide to the Whole Earth Catalog Records, 1969-1986 (bulk 1974-1980), (Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Michael S. Mahoney papers., 1923-2008 University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute.
referencedIn "From Counterculture to Cyberculture: The Legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog" [videorecording], 2006 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Whole Earth Catalog Records, 1969-1986 (bulk 1974-1980) Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn R. Buckminster Fuller Papers Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Stewart Brand papers, 1954-2000 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Douglas Menuez photography collection, 1986-2006 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
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Place Name Admin Code Country




Ark ID: w6qk9vdb

SNAC ID: 38476175