Pierrepont I. Prentice, a Memoir

Robert Clancy

[Reprinted from the Georgist Journal, No. 63, Spring, 1989]

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" in it.

"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.