Janet Schulman, a longtime children's book publisher, died Friday, February 11, from complications due to lung cancer. She was 77. Schulman, who began her publishing career in 1959 at Macmillan, worked for more than 30 years at Random House, where, among other things, she was the last editor there to edit Dr. Seuss.
Schulman spent 13 years at Macmillan, mainly as director of marketing, where she started one of the first paperback publishing programs for children. After the infamous "Macmillan Massacre" of 1974, she moved on to Random House where she served variously as director of children's marketing, editor-in-chief, and publisher of RH's children's imprints. Over the years Schulman, in addition to overseeing Dr. Seuss, edited other iconic authors such as Marc Brown and Jack Prelutsky. In 1994 she stepped down as publisher and became v-p and editor-at-large, editing three days a week, a role she continued until her death. In an interview with PW on making that transition, Schulman said her job was now "almost exclusively devoted to editing, which is wonderful. I don't have to act like a boss, and I can wear blue jeans if I want."
Schulman was also the author of several books for children, including 10 Easter Egg Hunters: A Holiday Counting Book, which was just published this month by Knopf. Among her other books were Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City (2008), Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (2004), and A Bunny for All Seasons (2002). Schulman also compiled many anthologies of children's stories, including The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud (1998) and You Read to Me & I'll Read to You: Stories to Share from the 20th Century (2001).
In lieu of cards and flowers, donations can be made to the Riverside Park Fund, a group that Schulman supported.