It covers a range of topics including politics, business, food, fashion and lifestyle in the city of Dallas. The first issue was published in October 1974 by its founders, Wick Allison and Jim Atkinson. The magazine is known for its annual Best and Worst awards, which have been published since 1977.
The magazine received an early boost from Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus, who sent a letter to 200,000 Neiman Marcus cardholders in the Dallas area, urging them to subscribe to the new magazine. It is a member of the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA).
The magazine was not well received by everyone. In 1975 then-mayor Wes Wise sued the magazine for libel. That same year the Dallas Restaurant Association sent a letter to its members urging an advertising boycott of the magazine because of its critical dining reviews. In 1990, American Express purchased the magazine, but the new ownership was not successful. In 1996, original founder Wick Allison repurchased the magazine with a group of investors, and in 2003 became the sole owner.
The editors and staff writers of D also publish Front Burner, a blog about things relating to Dallas. In 2000, Allison launched a sister magazine, D Home, for the home furnishings industry, and in 2003 a magazine for local brides called D Weddings. By 2007 there were five more magazines under the D brand, serving various communities of interest, as well as nine associated community weeklies serving affluent neighborhoods in Dallas.