Susan L. Taylor, the longtime editor and driving force behind Essence, the magazine aimed at black women, is leaving the publication after 37 years to devote more time to an organization she founded to help troubled children.
Ms. Taylor, 61, joined Essence in 1970, the year it was first published, as a freelance fashion and beauty editor after founding her own company, Nequai Cosmetics. She became editor in chief in 1981, a post she held until 2000, when she was promoted to publications director. She has most recently been the magazine’s editorial director and author of its In the Spirit column, which dispenses inspirational words about things like finance and prayer.
Although Essence, which is owned by the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, did not make an official announcement, Ms. Taylor chose to send out word of the change via e-mail. “I am taking a break in South Africa and will have little access to e-mail,” she wrote in an automated out-of-office message this month.
“When I come back to the states in mid-January, I will be leaving Essence to do what at this juncture in my life has become a larger work for me — building the National Cares Mentoring Movement, which I founded as Essence Cares and today is my deepest passion.”