As editor of Parade magazine, Jess Gorkin has used his influence to further international understanding, using the format of an "Open letter" to heads of state. Through the magazine, Gorkin was instrumental in promoting establishment of the "hotline" communication system between Moscow and Washington which has been used in several international times of crisis. He also was instrumental in the cooperation of Russian and American space programs leading to the Soviet-American space link.
A native Rochester, New York, Gorkin is a 1936 graduate of the University in Journalism, and was editor of the Daily Iowan in 1935-36.
After graduation he worked as an associate editor of Look magazine and later, during the war, founded Photo World OWI for distribution in Europe. In 1947 he came to Parade as managing editor and in 1949 was named editor.
Gorkin has returned often to the University of Iowa campus, joining students and other professionals in panel and seminars for journalism students. In 1974 he coordinated efforts to establish a scholarship fund in honor of the former publisher of the Daily Iowan, Fred Pownall. He has served as a volunteer for the University of Iowa Foundation in the New York City area and is a life member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association.