Where'd CliffsNotes start you ask? Why, from Cliff himself!
We're 56 years old! Clifton Keith Hillegass, the founder of CliffsNotes, was born in Rising City, Nebraska, on April 18, 1918. After graduating from college, he worked as a college bookstore representative for Long's College Bookstore (now the Nebraska Book Company).
One of the contacts Cliff developed while at Long's was Jack Cole, owner of Coles, The Book People. Cole's business produced study guides called Cole's Notes, published in Canada. Cole suggested to Cliff that American students would welcome a U.S. version of the notes. With that idea, Cliff launched CliffsNotes in August 1958, with a line of 16 Shakespeare study guides. Working out of Lincoln, Nebraska, Cliff built the company that produced study guides destined to become a multi-generational icon.
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