Betty Fairchild, former v-p and field director for Random House, died last week. She was 67.
Fairchild, who began her career as a bookseller in Virginia, was hired by Random House in 1975. In her first job at the publisher, she worked as a sales rep, covering a large swath of independent bookstores in the Southeast. After moving to Philadelphia, she worked with a number of distributors and helped found the Mid-Atlantic Booksellers Association (now known as NAIBA).
From the mid 1990s until her retirement in 2002, Fairchild was field director for Random House. Penguin Random House, in a statement about Fairchild, said she "forged strong relationships" in the job. "During an era when many were predicting the imminent demise of independent bookstores, Betty was a fierce and fearless advocate for the indies, and for the reps who called on them." Fairchild was also responsible, PRH noted, for leading "a variety of initiatives to transform the role of the field rep."
PRH added: "Betty was quick to make friends, and to welcome new people into the larger Random House family. She loved to mentor young colleagues, and followed their progress, and developments at RH after her retirement, with tremendous pride."
Fairchild is survived by her sister Alice Claire, and brother Charles.