EBSCO’s history reaches back to the first summer of the Great Depression, when 19-year-old Clio, Alabama, native Elton B. Stephens sold magazine subscriptions door to door to earn money for college. Each summer, Elton would travel the country, enhancing his ability to sell and adding to his team. After graduating from law school, he found that he could earn more in the magazine business than as a first-year lawyer, and the enterprise that would become EBSCO Industries began.
Formally incorporated in 1944, EBSCO first found success selling magazine subscriptions and recreational products to American military bases. Soon after, EBSCO began supplying academic material to university libraries, which remains its core business today. The second half of the twentieth century was a time of significant growth for the company, which expanded its footprint to nearly every country in the industrialized world, eventually growing to over 6,000 global employees. EBSCO Information Services (EIS) is now the leading online research service, offering educational institutions and public libraries the most-used abstract/index and full-text databases in the world.
EBSCO is one of the largest privately held companies in the country, and continues to invest in its current lines of business, including information services, healthcare information, distribution, outdoor products, workspace solutions, commercial insurance, and promotional products, as well as actively searching for new platform opportunities.
With the addition of All Current Electrical Sales in February 2015, the company added its first new platform through EBSCO Capital. Through this period of growth, EBSCO remains firmly committed to its vision of creating long-term value by investing in new platform opportunities and its existing platforms.