The sole owner of A.N. Marquis & Company for 40 years, Albert Nelson Marquis is now 71 years old. Thinking ahead, he becomes concerned over the fate of Who’s Who in the event of his death. He worries the brand might fall into unscrupulous hands that will diminish the high standards he has worked so hard to build. Marquis decides to attempt selling Who’s Who to a publishing house, and he invites bidders from across the country to consider purchasing.
Two prominent Chicagoans and business magazine publishers, Wheeler Sammons Jr. and A. W. Shaw, hear about the deal and are keenly interested in keeping the company in Chicago. Marquis sells them controlling interest, but, demonstrating his love for the company, Marquis retains 20% ownership along with the post of editor-in-chief. The company is incorporated as the A.N. Marquis Company.