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In Memoriam: Douglas Charles Billian

Douglas Charles Billian, of Atlanta and New York City, founder and chairman, Billian Publishing Inc., passed away on Sept. 15, 2012, at his home in Atlanta after a courageous battle with a brain tumor.

Doug Billian was born on March 13, 1928, to Elsie Adelaide (nee Bowers) and Alfred Arthur Billian in Bound Brook, N.J. The youngest of four boys, he was a New Jersey state pole vaulting champion in high school. As a young boy, he joined the Boy Scouts, and attained the level of Eagle Scout, earning Bronze, Silver and Gold Palms, and The Order of the Arrow. Through the years, he generously supported the Boy Scouts of America.


After graduating from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, he received his Naval commission just prior to the Korean War outbreak, serving from 1950 to 1953. He served aboard the USS Hyman (DD-732), which engaged the enemy in Wonsan Harbor in the Sea of Japan in 1951.

After a 20-year career with McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. on publications such as Purchasing Week, Aviation Week and Business Week, he launched Billian Publishing Inc. in 1978, with the acquisition of Golf World magazine. Subsequent acquisitions included Textile World and Art & Antiques. The company also launched Boating World. Today, Billian Publishing primarily serves the healthcare industry through Billian's HealthDATA, Porter Research and Healthcare IT Research. Its Textile Industries Media Group's titles include Textile World , Textiles Panamericanos and Textile World Asia .

"Mr. Billian had a long association with textiles and publications serving the textile industry. He often spoke of how he enjoyed members of the textile industry and said that, even in slow times, it was important for the industry to have a strong business press. Through the years, he published titles including ATI and Textile Industries as well as current titles Textile World , Textiles Panamericanos and Textile World Asia ," said James M. Borneman, editor in chief, Textile Industries Media Group. "He always insisted on editorial quality and providing a platform to showcase technology and innovation in textiles."

Billian was a former member of the Magazine Publishers Association and a lifetime member of the National Association of Eagle Scouts sponsored by fellow Scout Astronaut Jim Lovell. He served on the Board of Trustees of The United States Golf Association and Meals on Wheels Atlanta, and as chairman of the IFC Senior Citizens Foundation.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 26 years, Louise "Lulu" Lindsey Billian; children, Tracey Billian Krause, Martha Billian Meyer with spouse Dan, Lindsey Perkins Mullen with spouse Tim, Charles Jackson "Jay" Perkins Jr. with spouse Michelle, and Douglas C. Billian Jr. with spouse Jennifer; eleven grandchildren; brother Alfred Billian Jr. of Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and many nieces and nephews.

As a depression-era child, Billian had deeply engrained values. He will be remembered for his incredibly high moral standards, honorable character and utmost integrity. His unrelenting work ethic, coupled with his love of publishing and investing, contributed to his success. However, his intense belief in providing for his family drove his ambition. Those whose lives he touched have been inspired by his example.

September/October 2012