Pierrepont I. Prentice, a Memoir
[Reprinted from the Georgist Journal, No. 63,
Some 30 years ago, when I was Director of the Henry George
School, I received a phone call from a person who did not sound very
impressive. In a halting voice that had a stammer, he asked for
information on land value taxation. I was to meet him for lunch in
the Time and Life building, bringing what ammunition I could.
He turned out to be Pierrepont I. Prentice, editor of House &
Home, one of the Luce publications; and before that he had been
publisher of Time magazine. In studying the housing industry, he
continually came across the obstacle of high land prices. He
remembered that Henry George had something to say about it, so
looked in the phone book for something with "Henry George"
"Perry" Prentice thereafter became an advocate of LVT,
made contact with the movement, and produced a special issue of
House & Home (August 1960) devoted to the land question. This
created waves throughout the country.
Shortly after, Mr. Prentice left House & Home, became
associated with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation and in 1971
became its President. He travelled far and wide, addressing civic,
governmental, city planning and architectural groups, criticizing
our present system of taxation as "harnessing the profit motive
backwards" and urged a shift of taxes from buildings to land.
For awhile, Mr. Prentice was on the Board of Directors of the
Henry George Institute. One of his proteges was Gurney Breckenfeld
who has retired as senior editor of Fortune magazine. In 1979 Mr,
Prentice retired to Belleaire, Florida. He died there at the age of
89 on February 1, 1989. His family suggested contributions to
Georgist organizations. The Institute was pleased to receive
donations from James and Laurie Roche, Merle A. Carroll and Beatrice
Carson, all of Belleaire.