Pratt was raised in Durham, North Carolina. At 15, she attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. After Andover, Pratt went to Oberlin College in Ohio, where she received her degree in Communications, with a minor in Modern Dance. Her publishing career began with internships at RollingStone magazine and Sportstyle, a Fairchild Publication. After graduating, Pratt landed her first job as assistant editor of McCall's and in 1986, became an associate editor of Teenage Magazine.
At the age of 24, Pratt became the founding editor of Sassy, a magazine for teenage girls. Under Pratt, the magazine experienced rapid circulation growth. The success of Sassy led Pratt to host two talk shows, on FOX and LIFETIME, neither of which were successful. Pratt was also a frequent contributor to VH-1 and EXTRA, where she was featured interviewing such personalities as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Michael Stipe of REM, and Drew Barrymore. Pratt is the author of two books, For Real: The Uncensored Truth About America's Teenagers (Hyperion, September 1995) and BEYOND BEAUTY: Girls Speak Out on Looks, Style and Stereotypes, which is published by Callaway Editions in association with Clarkson Potter.
After Sassy was bought-out by Los Angeles-based Peterson Publising in 1994, the Greenwich Village, New York-based Pratt regrouped with several former Sassy staffers to form Jane magazine, a lifestyle magazine for women (18-34), which debuted 3 years later. Its first cover featured actor Drew Barrymore. Other colleagues have included singer Michael Stipe, whom she dated; director Spike Jonze, whom she hired as editor of short-lived teenage-boy-targeted Dirt magazine; actor Chloë Sevigny, who was once a summer intern at Sassy; and Pamela Anderson, who wrote a regular monthly column for Jane. Jane was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors, and Pratt was named "Editor of the Year" in 2002 by Adweek Magazine. In April 2005, she sadly lost the twin daughters she was expecting. On 25 July 2005, Pratt announced that she was resigning from her position as editor in chief of Jane and would be leaving the company on 30 September 2005. Circulation has steadily increased since the magazine's debut, with 700,000 readers as of the day Pratt announced she would be stepping down.
Pratt is married to actor and writer Andrew Shaifer. The couple have a daughter, Charlotte (b. December 2003).
Jane Pratt Trivia
Jane was the founding editor-in-chief of an alternative teen magazine in the 80s and 90s called "Sassy". It was based on the Australian magazine "Dolly". Under her guidance, the magazine published controversial articles that existing mainstream magazines marketed to teenage girls would not touch. During and after Sassy, she attempted to host a couple of talk shows, but both failed to garner ratings. She is presently editor-in-chief of Jane magazine, for which she hired (and fired) several ex-Sassy staffers.
Has one daughter, named Charlotte Jane (born December 2002). She initially announced that she was going to be naming her daughter Isabel. She changed her mind at the last minute, choosing instead to name the child after her North Carolina hometown and herself.
Played electric violin in the Sassy Magazine house-band "Chia Pet"
Attended North Carolina School of the Arts and Philips Academy Andover (Massachussetts) on scholarships and financial aid while her family was on welfare. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1984 with a double major in Dance and Communications.
Discovered Spike Jonze who she hired to be an editor of Dirt Magazine, and ChloŽ Sevigny who did a summer internship at Sassy Magazine.
Was born on the same day and month as Susanna Kaysen, author of Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Her publishing career began with internships at RollingStone and SportStyle. She later gets a paid job as an assistant editor at McCall's.
JANE magazine was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors, and Jane Pratt was named "Editor of the Year" in 2002 by Adweek magazine.
Founding Editor of Sassy, a smart magazine for teenage girls.
Her parents, Vernon Pratt and Sheila Blake, were university art professors in San Francisco.