Our History

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 found success selling magazine subscriptions and recreational products to American military bases. Soon after, EBSCO began supplying academic material to university libraries, and eventually ventured into the manufacturing industry in order to meet customers’ deadlines. Throughout the next few decades, EBSCO continued to grow organically internally by increasing sales teams and product offerings, and externally through the acquisition of several different companies.

Throughout this period of growth, EBSCO remained firmly committed to its vision of creating long-term value by investing in existing platforms while also seeking new opportunities. So, in 2001, the seeds of EBSCO Capital were planted to actively grow the EBSCO portfolio. Since then, EBSCO Capital has completed over 70 acquisitions.

We continue to maintain the entrepreneurial and sales driven culture on which our company was founded. EBSCO has a history of supporting the management teams we invest in, and that is no different today. We believe in the vision of our businesses and team members and are eager to support them in fulfilling it.