Bob Katzman opened his magazine museum in its current location in 2007. But his work in newsprint goes back much further, to when he was 14 and still in high school.
Bob's store is not conducive to browsing, but he knows every issue of every magazine he carries. Ask him for a magazine about any topic, and he can find it for you in minutes.
Bob sells magazines not out of any great love of periodicals or sense of nostalgia, but because that is what he has been doing since high school. His world views have been shaped by his experiences. Click on the image above to read some of his views.
Bob opened a newstand in high school to pay his tuition. His school, the Lab School, also hired him to sketch the building for advertisements.
Throughout high school, Bob held many jobs to support himself and his family. At one point, his father worked for him.
After his first brain surgery in 2004, Bob began writing books. He was afraid he would lose his memory. Click on the image above to read more about his books
Bob says his illness has caused him to be one of the healthiest 62-year-olds he knows. He does not smoke or drink, and looks for the silver lining in every moment.
Bob's favorite job was running his bookstore. A self-described artist (like everyone in his family, he says), he values the written word.
Bob has never relied on one business to support him -- he often runs multiple at once, using the profits from one to support a second.
Bob and his wife, Joyce, travel around the country hunting down magazines.
Bob fell into the distribution business by accident. Many of the turns his career has taken since then have also come by accident.
He accomplished more than simply distributing a previously-hard-to-find magazine -- Bob made legal history, he says, and helped take down a monopoly.
Although Bob fell into the magazine business out of necessity, he now fears losing his business. With Bob's magazine museum gone, there will be no back-issue magazine stores in Illinois.