It's been 50 years since Cleveland Magazine launched. Those five decades, like any epic story, are filled with moments of glory and defeat. Crime and punishment. Renew and reinvention. Heartache and, yes, we’ll call it love.
In the following pages, we’ve highlighted what we see as the 50 moments that have defined us — the city and the magazine — since our first issue came out in April 1972. you’re a true Clevelander, you likely have your own thoughts on this list, and we want to hear them.
The characters include the likes of George Forbes, Jane Scott, Bernie Kosar and Michael Symon — all marked by an extraordinary passion both for their craft and their city.
The setting includes our downtown, neighborhoods, waters, institutions, fields, businesses, theaters and parks, as well as the highways that led some to greener pastures while simultaneously putting prosperity out of reach for others.
The villain, as always, is pride and greed.
And the hero is anyone who loves this city enough to be angry about injustice yet excited for our future. The hero keeps both the faith and the fight, no matter how bad the weather, the score or the world around them. The hero recognizes our faults — they can still see the flames — but also knows that we, as a city, have enough heart to heal all wounds.
Aug. 6, 1972: The Cleveland 50: Playhouse Square Theaters Saved
It might be hard to believe now, but Playhouse Square once had a date with a wrecking ball until Ray Shepardson fought to save it. Read More >>
Oct. 6, 1977: Mobster Danny Greene Assassinated
A longtime fixture in the pages of Cleveland Magazine, the labor boss died via a car bomb. How the notorious mobster met his end — and what it meant for us. Read More >>>
Nov. 8, 1977: Dennis Kucinich Wins Mayoral Election
Cleveland's "boy mayor" won an improbable election but his fine moment did not last long. Read More >>>
June 17, 1982: The Cleveland Press Closes
Former editor Michael D. Roberts reflects on how The Press, once touted by Time Magazine as one of America's 10 great newspapers, impacted the fabric of Cleveland. Read More >>>
Aug. 31, 1982: Michael Stanley Sets Blossom Record
From Aug. 25-31, 1982, Michael Stanley rocked Blossom Music Center to multiple sold-out crowds — stealing hearts and delighting crowds. Read More >>>
Nov. 13, 1986: The Jacobs Brothers Buy the Indians
Three years ahead of the release of Major League, the Jacobs brothers purchased the underdog team in a deal that changed everything and gave us "The Jake." Read More >>>
March 3, 1988: Toni Morrison Wins a Pulitzer Prize
The award, for her novel, Beloved, cements our status as a literary city. Read More >>>
Oct 17, 1988: Ground Broken for Key Tower
Completed in 1991, the 57-story skyscraper boosted both our skyline and our collective pride. Read More >>>
March 29, 1990: Tower City Center Opens
While the luxury stores were the first to go, this shopping center was a sign that Cleveland's revival was on the horizon. Read More >>>
Oct. 3, 1993: Bob Hopes Pays Tribute to Municipal Stadium
The actor sent the stadium off in style with a grand goodbye. Read More >>>
June 21, 1994: Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony Makes Its Mark
The world heard the sounds of the Cleveland in the band's first album. Read More >>>
June 12, 1995: The Indians' 455-Game Sellout Streak Begins
Linda Feagler recounts the joy and heartbreak found with the team's 1995 World Series run. Read More >>>
Sept. 13, 1995: The Drew Carey Show Premieres
The actor, who showed his love for Cleveland at every turn in the show, chats with us about Cleveland, why it will always be home and what it would take to bring him back. Read More >>>
Dec. 17, 1995: Art Modell Takes The Browns to Baltimore
Before being shipped off the Baltimore, the Browns finished their season at Cleveland Stadium. How fans took it upon themselves to start demolition early. Read More >>>
May 1997: Chef Michael Symon Opens Lola in Tremont
The restaurant, which subsequently moved to downtown's East Fourth Street, helped shoot Symon to celebrity chef status while also putting Cleveland on the culinary map. Read More >>>
Sept. 12, 1999: The Browns Come Home
Sure, the Browns' return came in the form of a 43-0 loss, but Drew Carey hosted a one-of-a-kind celebration that writer Andy Netzel will never forget. Read More >>>
Oct. 30, 1999: The Cleveland Arcade Restoration Begins
The massive undertaking both preserves the historic structure and converts it into an upscale hotel. Read More >>>
Oct. 11, 2000: Cleveland Gets a National Park
While we already knew the Cuyahoga Valley was incredible, the designation put our park on the same footing as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Read More >>>
June 23, 2003: The Cleveland Cavaliers Draft LeBron James
"The Chosen One" ended up with his hometown team, setting up one of the best periods in Cleveland basketball.
Read More >>>
July 31, 2012: Jimmy Dimora Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison
Erick Trickey recounts how Dimora's infamy tarnished Cleveland politics — and showed that no one was untouchable. Read More >>>
Sept. 28, 2012: Captain America: The Winter Solider Films in Cleveland
The movie established us in the industry as a convenient — and striking — location to film. Read More >>
Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice is Shot and Killed
On Nov. 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, playing with a toy guy with no orange tip, was shot by Cleveland police. His mother, Samaria Rice, talks with us about her son and the legacy she hopes to create. Read More >>>
June 19, 2016: The Cavs Win Us a Championship
Writer Jim Vickers reflects on one of the happiest moments in the city's history, when LeBron made good on his promise to bring a championship to the Land. Read More >>>
July 2020: The Cleveland Clinic Makes History with Transplant Milestone
The Clinic performed its 2,000th heart transplant and its 2,000th lung transplant in the midst of a pandemic.
Read More >>>
Jan. 28, 2022: The Cleveland 50: Sherwin-Williams Builds New Headquarters
The 36-story building will change Cleveland's skyline, gaining its fourth-tallest tower and cementing one of our best corporate partners. Read More >>>