[- What do you believe? -]Fate first appeared as a digest-sized quarterly in the spring of 1948. It was the product of a collaboration between Ray Palmer, who edited the sciencefiction magazines Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures, and Curtis Fuller, editor of Flying. Both men were employees of Ziff-Davis, a publishing company then based in Chicago, but Fate was their own enterprise, put together at night and on weekends under the rubric of Clark Publishing.
One immediate inspiration for the magazine was the flood of flying-saucer reports that washed over the world in the wake of pilot Kenneth Arnold's June 24, 1947, sighting of nine fast-moving discs over Mount Rainier, Washington. Another was Palmer's experience in featuring articles on "true mysteries" in his sciencefiction titles; such pieces had proven wildly popular. No mass-circulation periodical devoted solely to such matters existed, and Palmer and Fuller decided to fill that void in the magazine market.
Fate covered a wide variety of mysteries, including those related to ufology, cryptozoology, and archaeology, but the greatest emphasis would always be on psychic phenomena. By 1949 it was published bimonthly, and in 1952 it went monthly. Palmer, who had moved to Amherst, Wisconsin, bowed out of active editorial involvement with the magazine around 1950 and sold his share to Fuller a few years later. Fuller, who edited Fate under the pseudonym "Robert N. Webster," was soon joined by his wife Mary Margaret, who was formally named editor in 1966.
The most successful popular psychic magazine of all time, Fate achieved a peak circulation of 175,000 in the late 1970s. Mrs. Fuller retired as editor in 1988 and was replaced by Jerome Clark. That same year Llewellyn Publications (subsequently renamed Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.) purchased the magazine and in 1989 moved it from suburban Chicago to St. Paul, Minnesota. Phyllis GaIde is its current editor. Fate's 500th issue was published in November 1991.