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1942-09 Stocking Parade
1950-11 Pocket Det.
1943-02 Fiction
1950-12 Crime Fiction
1946-11 Hollywood Det.
1950-10 Crime Smashers
1947-04 Leading West.
1951-02 Western Crime
1949-08 Fighting West.
1952-05 Crime Myst.
1950-06 Leading West.
1953-05 G.I. Jane



































Stanley Michael Estrow was born on July 25, 1909 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Michael Estrow, was born on July 4, 1886 in Russia of Jewish ancestry. At the age of one his father came to America with his family and settled in New York City. His mother, Anna Fisher, was born in 1890 in Minnesota of Russian Jewish ancestry. His parents married on October 28, 1908 in NYC and then moved to Cleveland, where they had two children, Stanley Michael Estrow (b.1909), and Margery Ann Estrow (b.1922). The family lived at 5007 Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. The father was a shipping clerk.

In 1920 the family lived at 10601 Morrison Avenue in Cleveland. By this time the father was a supervisor at a cloak manufacturing company.

In 1927 Stanley M. Estrow graduated from high school in Cleveland. That September he began to attend St. Johns College of Law in New York City.

In his Senior year he was appointed Associate Editor of the school yearbook.

In June of 1931 Stanley M. Estrow graduated from St. Johns College School of Law.

After graduation he passed the bar examination and began to practice law. He specialized in bankruptcy cases. During the Great Depression he was regularly appointed by the Court to act as the "assignor" to whom the indebted went for repayment. One of his biggest clients was the Eastern Distributing Corporation, which had been founded by Warren Angel and Paul Sampliner.

Along with distributing periodicals, the Eastern Distributing Corporation also extended credit to entry-level publishers in exchange for partial ownership and the required use of affiliated printers, suppliers, and advertising representatives. This sort of deal gave Eastern Distributing full control, as well as maximum profit. Several of the company's own employees took advantage of this deal to become publishers, such as Louis Silberkleit, Martin Goodman, and Frank Armer.

On September 10, 1932 The New York Times reported Eastern Distributing Corporation had filed for bankruptcy. The report listed debts of $20,000 owed to the Isaac Goldmann Co., $1,000 owed to Frank G. Menke, and $40,000 to the New Broad Publishing Co. This last company was owned by Moe L. Annenberg and headed by Theodore Epstein to produce The New Broadway Brevities, a scandal sheet with a jaded history of extortion and blackmail. On September 13, 1932 The New York Times reported the NYC Court had appointed the bankruptcy receivers of Eastern Distributing. On November 24, 1932 The New York Times reported the NYC Court had accepted the filed schedule of payment to bankruptcy receivers of Eastern Distributing. Thanks to their clever bankruptcy lawyer, Eastern Distributing left many small publishing concerns stranded.

One week later Paul Sampliner went into business with Harry Donenfeld to form IND (Independent News Distribution) at 245 Park Avenue, which was the western entrance to 480 Lexington Avenue, where Sampliner and Donenfeld shared office space. IND handled the stranded clients of Eastern Distributing. In retrospect, many debtors felt this bankruptcy and subsequent reorganization was designed to avoid contractual obligations.

IND offered the same deal to extend credit to aspiring publishers who were willing to form new companies that gave IND control of production costs, sales accounts, distribution, and partial ownership. Such a gamble appealed to Merle William Hersey, Henry Marcus, Hugh Layne, John F. Edwards, William Von Tillzer, and George Shade, as well as their bankruptcy lawyer, Stanley M. Estrow.

In 1934 Stanley M. Estrow, Paul Sampliner, and Harry Donenfeld formed Trojan Publishing. Stanley M. Estrow's father, Michael Estrow, a retired supervisor at a cloak factory, was appointed president of Trojan Publishing.

In July of 1935 Stanley M. Estrow married his wife, Muriel W. Estrow. She was born in 1917 in New Jersey, and had just the month before graduated from high school. The married couple lived at 63 Cooper Street, near 207th Street in Uppermost Manhattan.

In 1939 Stanley M. Estrow and Paul Sampliner formed Leader News Company at 114 East 47th Street. This was the northern side entrance to the same building, 480 Lexington, where Harry Donenfeld and Paul Sampliner had their shared offices. Estrow and Sampliner were both born in Cleveland, so they named the new company after their hometown newspaper, The Leaders News of Cleveland, even though there was no actual business connection between their new company and the famous Ohio newspaper.

Although Stanley M. Estrow's father was listed as the president of Leader News in legal documents, he was recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census as a traveling salesman employed by a "Publishing News Company."

In 1941 Stanley M. Estrow's daughter Barbara Estrow was born. Four years later his son Richard Estrow was born.

By 1942 the mother and father of Stanley M. Estrow lived in an apartment building at 1000 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, NY. Their nineteen-year-old daughter, Margery Ann Estrow, lived with them.

In 1943 Margery Ann Estrow married U.S. Army Captain Jonas Singer, and their first child was Geraldine Singer. The three infant cousins, Richard and Barbara Estrow, and Geraldine Singer, all grew up together. The first syllables of their three names, "Ri" "Ba "Ge," form the invented word, "Ribage." The Ribage Publishing Company was formed by Stanley M. Estrow and Paul Sampliner as a new division of Trojan Publishing. The Ribage Publishing Company produced Fiction Magazine, as well as comic books Crime Mysteries, Crime Smashers, Secret Mysteries, and Youthful Romances.

The February 1946 issue of Speed Detective Stories from Trojan Publishing included a Statement of Ownership that listed the owners as Frank Armer and his wife, Janet De Pinna Armer, Michael Estrow and his wife, Anna Estrow, Harry Donenfeld's wife, Gussie Donenfeld, as well as three additional owners, Joseph Wasserman, Alice Wasserman, and Linda Wasserman. These last three are a lawyer from Dayton, Ohio, and his wife and daughter. The lawyer's wife, Alice Unger Wasserman, was the sister of Paul Sampliner's wife, Sophie Unger Sampliner. The inclusion of three proxy owners from the family of Paul Sampliner reflected his stature as the majority shareholder on the board of this incorporated business, although his own name does not appear.

In 1949 Stanley M. Estrow's sister had a second child, Thomas Singer, after which the Singer family left NYC and moved to Teaneck, New Jersey. At that same time the family of Stanley M. Estrow moved to Stillwater Hills in Ossining, NY.

In 1950 Frank Armer and Adolph Barreaux formed Trojan Comics, which was a division of Trojan Publishing. Although Armer and Barreaux were listed as owners, the Statements of Ownership also included family members of Harry Donenfeld, Paul Sampliner, and Stanley M. Estrow. The first two titles of Trojan Comics were Crime Smashers and Western Crime-Busters. All Trojan Comics were distributed by both Leader News Company and IND. Several covers duplicated previously published pulp magazine cover paintings.

As time went by, Trojan Publishing produced increasingly fewer pulp magazines. Towards the end they switched to digest-sized magazines. The last such titles were Pocket Detective and Pocket Western.

On March 07, 1951 The New York Times Business Section reported that Trojan Publishing had filed for bankruptcy with declared debts of $154,448. Two months later NY Courts confirmed bankruptcy arrangements. The publishing company continued to operate for another three years, while court-appointed supervisor, Stanley M. Estrow, garnished a portion of the profit on behalf of gypped debtors.

In January of 1953 Stanley M. Estrow joined with cartoonist Hal Seeger (1917-2005) to form Stanhall Publications, which produced the gag books G.I. Jane, Muggy-Doo, The Farmer's Daughter, Broadway Hollywood Blackouts, and Oh Brother! The company name "Stanhall" is derived from the first names of Stanley Estrow and Hal Seeger.

On March 9, 1956 the Leader News Company declared bankruptcy. This occurred at a unique time when America's entire system of distribution was struggling to reorganize after the collapse of ANC.

On April 15, 1960 Stanley M. Estrow's father, Michael Estrow died at the age of seventy-three.

On July 15 1960 Stanley M. Estrow's former employee, Ely Landis, died at the age of forty-seven. His obituary described his career as having started as a newsstand sales manager at Leader News Company, after which he became assistant traffic manager at IND, and then joined Moe L. Annenberg's Triangle Publications, where he became a circulation executive at TV Guide. This career path is a perfect reflection of the business connections between Estrow, Sampliner, and Annenberg.

In 1962 Stanley M. Estrow retired from publishing and distribution, although he continued to practice law in NYC at a rented office at 60 East 42nd Street.

On August 19, 1980 Stanley M. Estrow's wife, Muriel W. Estrow, died at the age of sixty-three.

On June 18, 1983 he married his second wife, Mary Evelyne (Felker) George, in Palm Beach, Florida. She was born in 1910. Five years later this second marriage ended unhappily in divorce.

Stanley Michael Estrow died at the age of seventy-nine on February 27, 1989.

                             © David Saunders 2017

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