Launched in 1953 by the legendary Joe "Hosstail" Small in Austin, Texas,
True West is a popular history publication with a loyal, core
readership. Thanks to the proliferation of TV Westerns in the late 1950s
and early 1960s, the magazine enjoyed broad circulation (200,000+
newsstand sales). But, as the market and his health started to decline,
Joe Small sold out in 1974 and over the next decade, the
magazine bounced around the Midwest, finally settling in Stillwater,
Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the Oklahoma owners did not have the capital to
stay current with the changing times and the magazine began to lose
significant market share, as newer, slicker titles such as Cowboys &
Indians and American Cowboy came into the marketplace. By mid-1999, the
publication, along with three other titles, was for sale, and the
current owners came to the rescue. True West Publishing (including
assets and trademarked names of True West, Old West, Frontier Times)
moved to Cave Creek, Arizona, in October 1999.
In 2014, the magazine is celebrating its 61st anniversary.