Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Cincinnati Police Investigating Family of Boy Who Fell Into Gorilla Enclosure
- Read the Cover Story: Steve Harvey: From Homeless to Having It All
- Ronnie Wood Welcomes Twin Daughters Gracie Jane and Alice Rose
- Kristen Bell Opens Up About Her Struggles with Depression: 'I Felt Worthless'
- 10 Collar Necklaces Your Favorite LBD Needs Right Now
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 21, 2001
- Vol. 55
- No. 20
To Make a Long Story Short, Cliff Hillegass—Founder of Cliffs Notes—Probably Got You Through English Class
When he died on May 5 of complications from a stroke, Hillegass, 83, left behind generations of grateful high school and college students who'd made it through English Lit only because of his Cliffs Notes, the ubiquitous black-and-yellow-covered abridgments of everything from A (Absalom, Absalom!) to, well, W (Wuthering Heights).
Born in Rising City, Neb., Hillegass, the son of a rural mail carrier and a homemaker, was a traveling book salesman when a Canadian publisher gave him the idea of whacking down the great books for students. The company he started with a $4,000 loan in 1958 sold 40 years later for $14 million.
Throughout his life Hillegass was adamant that his study guides—most written by graduate students—weren't cheat sheets. "I used Cliffs Notes as they are supposed to be read," says Kimberly Newton, 36, the youngest of his five children. "I'd read the book first and then read the Cliffs Notes for insight." Still, she concedes that not every student played by those rules—to the dismay of teachers. As a student at Northeastern University in Boston, "I had one prof who said, 'I don't want any of you using Cliffs Notes,' " she says. "I never told him who I was."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!