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Profiles in Publishing: Karl Baedeker


Name: Karl Baedeker

Birthdate/Place: November 3rd 1801, Essen, Germany

Publisher Associated With: Baedeker

Claim to Fame: Oldest of ten children, he inherited the publishing company created by his grandfather in 1784. He worked as a bookseller while studying humanities in Heidelberg  before military service. He moved to Koblenz and established his own bookselling and publishing business in 1827 at only 25 years old. Later to become commonly known as “the father of modern tourism,” the company published travel guide books that uniquely included every detail a tourist needed for a successful venture. He reviewed and researched the  travel guides personally, was fluent in over 10 languages, and was doing the “work of several men” before he died at the age of 57.


Baedeker’s famous red guides

The Ultimate Family BusinessNot only was Baedeker’s whole life dedicated to publishing, he was the descendant of a long line of book professionals. Furthermore, ownership of the company continued within the Baedekers family until the death of Eva Baedeker in 1984, more than 130 years after its first establishment. Now owned by Mairdumont, the guide books continue to be published under his name and brand.





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