As a Sports Illustrated alum, I was sad to hear that Sid James died yesterday. James was the first editor of SI, although the magazine didn't reach its stride until Andre Leguerre took over after James. Contrary to the Times obit, the magazine wasn't an immediate success.
That said, it's still sad to lose a link to history like this. If you're looking to learn more about the early days at SI, there's a pretty good history, The Franchise, that you should pick up.