In 2012, we lost many cherished authors and publishing professionals who helped to carry our changing industry into the 21st century. Here we honor the lives of these individuals and the many, many gifts they left behind.
Jacques Barzun: The French-born historian, essayist, and educator died on October 25 at the age of 104. Barzun was among the most astute mid-20th-century critics of American culture (he became a U.S. citizen in 1933). Barzun was a longtime fixture at Columbia University, where he graduated as valedictorian in 1927 and retired from the faculty in 1975. He also worked as a consultant at Scribner for many years. Among his important works are The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going and From Dawn to Decadence.
Nina Bawden: British author Bawden died on August 22 at her home in London. Among her best-known titles are Carrie’s War (1973), which draws from her personal experiences as a child during WWII, and The Peppermint Pig, a picture book about a porcine runt’s rebellious behavior. Bawden’s notable books for adults include The Birds on the Trees (1970), about a family facing calamity, and Circles of Deceit (1987), about a painter who struggles with ideas of originality and imitation (the latter shortlisted for the Booker Prize). Bawden received the PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature in 2004. Obituary: Nina Bawden.
Jan Berenstain: Jan Berenstain and her husband, Stan (who died in 2005), packed a lifetime of practical lessons into their books about a family of treehouse-dwelling bears. Omnipresent in libraries and children’s bedrooms alike, the Berenstain Bears series was born in 1962 with The Big Honey Hunt, published by Beginner Books under the guidance of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). With the book’s success, the couple expanded the series, eventually publishing more than 300 titles, and paving the way for a multimedia franchise. Jan and Stan Berenstain’s son, Michael, has taken on authorship of the series. Jan Berenstain died on February 24 at 88. Obituary: Jan Berenstain.
Maeve Binchy: The Irish-born novelist died on July 30 in Dublin at the age of 72, having published 16 novels, mostly about women facing challenges in Irish society. Among her best-known works are Light a Penny Candle, Circle of Friends, and Tara, which was an Oprah Book Club selection in 1998. Her final book, A Week in Winter, will be published next month by her longtime publisher, Knopf.
Caren Bohrman: Bohrman worked as a literary agent specializing in screen adaptations. She founded the Bohrman Agency in 1994, and oversaw the development of screenplays for many films, including The Fugitive (1993), Crazy/Beautiful (2001), and The Vow (2012). Bohrman was recognized for her down-to-earth approach to a sometimes underhanded business. Following her death, her sister described how Bohrman embraced a “boutique approach to script development, lavishing attention on language, plot, structure and—in particular—the writer.” Bohrman died on November 18. She was 56.
Ray Bradbury: The legendary author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction died on June 5 at the age of 91. Bradbury launched his career by selling his distinctively ghoulish short pieces to magazines, including Mademoiselle, Esquire, and the New Yorker. In 1950, Doubleday published a serialized selection of elegantly unnerving stories as The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury published 27 novels and hundreds of short fiction pieces in his lifetime; much of his work was also adapted to screen. Bradbury distilled the essence of childhood in Dandelion Wine (1957); he built the House of Usher on Mars (Usher II), and insured that a temperature reading would be indelibly associated with ideas of censorship and intellectual liberty (Fahrenheit 451). Ray Bradbury Dies at 91.
Deborah Brodie: Brodie began her tenure at Viking Children’s Books in 1979 and also worked to grow Roaring Brook Press before branching off to freelance as an editor and writing coach. Authors and illustrators she worked with throughout her career include Seymour Chwast, Sarah Dessen, and Jane Yolen. Brodie died on June 27 at age 67. Obituary: Deborah Brodie.
Helen Gurley Brown: The longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and meteor for women’s liberation died in Manhattan on August 13. She was 90. Brown wrote several books, most notably Sex and the Single Girl (1962), a progressive guide to dating and relationships, which drew from her experiences as a young, working woman. Brown’s tenure at Cosmopolitan began in 1965. As editor-in-chief, she geared the publication toward glamorous and sexually empowered women. At times a controversial figure, Brown encouraged women to use their assets to earn attention, power, and perhaps the occasional gift of furs—a philosophy that did not always align with the feminist movement. But she was also a beacon of practical wisdom, guiding women through the turbulence of the shifting social morays of the 1960s and ’70s. Obituary: Helen Gurley Brown.
Remy Charlip: Among his many talents, Charlip was a children’s book author, a choreographer, and a dancer—an individual for whom creative expression was fluid. Charlip’s books for children, which include Dress Up and Let’s Have a Party (1956), Arm in Arm (1969), and A Perfect Day (2007), are characterized by wordplay and a sense of kinetic energy. Charlip and Brian Selznick were longtime friends, and Charlip was the model for Selznick’s drawings of filmmaker Georges Méliès in The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Charlip died on August 14 at age 83. Obituary: Remy Charlip .
Herb Cheyette: Though the attorney and agent represented many writers and artists, he will likely best be remembered in association with Theodor Geisel. Cheyette was Geisel’s longtime agent for television and film adaptations through ICM. Geisel and Cheyette also became personal friends. Cheyette died on October 2 in California. He was 83.
Alexander Cockburn: The firebrand and leftist journalist, who had regular columns at the Village Voice, the Nation, and even the Wall Street Journal, died at age 71 at a hospital in Germany. Cockburn authored or coauthored several books, including Corruptions of Empire, published by Verso in 1988.
Robert B. Cohen: The man who helped to assuage travel and commuter woes by establishing Hudson News chains in train, bus stations, and airports, died on February 1 at age 86. In the 1970s, as president of the Hudson County News Company, Cohen commandeered a failing newsstand at Newark Airport, offering well-lit displays of magazines. A large store containing hundreds of magazines and sundries opened at La Guardia Airport in 1987. Since then, the news outlets have expanded to about 600 locations. Obituary: Hudson News Founder Robert B. Cohen.
Robert Creamer: The sportswriter and editor, who was a Sports Illustrated staffer from its inception in 1954, died at age 84 in July. Creamer wrote what is considered the definitive biography of Babe Ruth, as well as admired biographies of Casey Stengel and Mickey Mantle, among others.
Harry Crews: Crews, born in a small town near the Okefenokee Swamp in rural Georgia, died at 76 in March. The ex-Marine wrote Southern gothic fiction about snakes, traveling revivalists, midgets, and obese citizens. In one novel, as the New York Times pointed out in its obituary, a man eats a car, “four ounces at a sitting.” Crews spent many years teaching in the writing program at the University of Florida.
Anne Davis: Anne Grace Davis, v-p and chief financial officer of Random House Worldwide, died November 26 after a battle with cancer. She was 50. Davis joined Random House in 1995 as assistant controller and was named CFO in 2007. Markus Dohle, chairman and CEO of Random House, spoke fondly of Davis upon her death, saying, “Anne was more than a brilliant CFO; she was our anchor, our heart, our inspiration.”
Christopher Davis: Davis joined the tiny Dorling Kindersley firm shortly after its founding in 1974. Throughout his tenure, he served as editorial director, deputy chairman, and publisher. Davis helped DK to expand into a publisher of dynamic, boldly illustrated travel, reference, and educational guides, such as the popular Eyewitness series. He also wrote his own books on topics ranging from sports to the American West, and a memoir of the company, called Eyewitness. Davis retired from DK in 2005. He died on December 2 at the age of 71. Obituary: Christopher Davis. Christopher Davis Remembered.
Leo Dillon: Children’s book illustrator Dillon, a Trinidad native, collaborated with his wife, Diane Dillon, on more than 40 books, including Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1975) and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1976), which won back-to-back Caldecott medals. The Dillons’ art style varied dramatically depending upon their subject matter, shifting from the bright, stylized shapes in Mosquitoes to opulent designs and whimsical scenes in picture books like The Porcelain Cat (2004) and Wind Child (1999). Dillon died on May 26 at age 79. Illustrator Leo Dillon Dies at 79.
Nora Ephron: Although best-known for her screenplays for several critically acclaimed and popular romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally, etc.), Ephron was also a bestselling author. Her novel Heartburn, about her breakup with a Washington insider a lot like her former husband Carl Bernstein, was a hot book before it was a popular movie (she wrote the screenplay). Ephron’s book of essays about aging as a woman, I Feel Bad About My Neck, recently topped the bestseller charts. She died at 71 on June 26.
Lowell Irven Farley: A journalist by trade, Farley worked for United Press International in New York City, where he lived for 20 years. After moving to Florida, however, Farley launched a publicity firm, which he and his wife ran out of their Fort Lauderdale home, promoting hundreds of authors over the course of 30 years. Farley died on July 3 at age 81.
Eva Figes: A pioneering, German-born feminist who left the movement she helped create in order to become a fulltime novelist, Figes died at 80 in London on August 28. Among her novels are Waking and Light, about a day in the life of Claude Monet.
George Fisher: Publishing veteran Fisher worked in the industry for 35 years, first focusing on nonbookstore markets at Warner Books and Pocket Books. Fisher joined the Ballantine sales division at Random House in 1990, taking over as v-p, director adult mass merchandise sales in 1998. He retired in 2008, announcing to the merchandise team: “I am not leaving Random House or mass merch because my passion or love for this industry has abated.... I am moving to another chapter of my life for personal reasons and for my family.” Fisher died on February 22 at the age of 60. Obituary: George Fisher.
Carlos Fuentes: Fuentes was born in Panama and traveled extensively, but his constellation of work remained closely tethered to his ancestral home of Mexico. Fuentes became an affiliate of the 1960s movement El Boom, which brought the work of Latin American authors (including Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and Mario Vargas Llosa) to the attention of European and American audiences. Among his most notable novels are The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) and The Old Gringo (1985). Fuentes died on May 16 in Mexico City.
Paul Fussell: The great military historian Fussell, whose book on WWI, The Great War and Modern Memory, became a bestseller and is now a classic, died at 88 in May. The California-born Fussell saw fierce battle in WWII, which left him with a disdain for those who would romanticize war and soldiering. He was also a ruthless critic of the American “status system” and what he saw as shallow American cultural values.
Elizabeth A. Geiser: A devoted publishing executive, Geiser spent more than 40 years in the New York City publishing world. Over the course of her career, she worked at Macmillan and R.R. Bowker, and served on numerous educational publishing committees. Among her accomplishments was the founding of the Denver Publishing Institute, a four-week course for postgraduates entering the field. Joyce Meskis, who took over as the institute’s director once Geiser stepped down, described Geiser as “unflagging in her efforts to promote education and publishing, and to work with students in assisting them to be the future of our industry.” Obituary: Elizabeth A. Geiser.
Jean Craighead George: A Jack London disciple of a sort, George wrote powerful novels about young people coming of age against the backdrop of wilderness. While researching the animals at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Alaska, George was inspired to write her Newbery-winning novel Julie of the Wolves (1972), about a Yupik indigenous girl who communicates with wolves. George’s My Side of the Mountain (1959), about a boy who adapts to life in the woods, was also a Newbery Honor book. She died on May 15 at age 92. Obituary: Jean Craighead George.
Jack Gilbert: Gilbert worked odd jobs as an exterminator, salesman, and steelworker before attending the University of Pittsburgh, where he cultivated an interest in poetry. His career gained momentum with the publication of Views of Jeopardy (1962), which won the Yale Younger Poets prize. But Gilbert’s time as a media darling was short-lived—not by circumstance but by Gilbert’s design. Through his Guggenheim Fellowship, Gilbert toured Europe as a lecturer before quietly stepping away from the literary limelight. His second collection, Monolithos, came 20 years after his inaugural book. Gilbert was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize and was awarded the 1983 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Monolithos and the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award for Refusing Heaven. He died on November 13. He was 87.
Kathy Kamen Goldmark: Author, musician, and cultural livewire, Goldmark brushed elbows with literary and rock glitterati alike. In 1983, Goldmark established Goldmark Media Escorts, which organized and promoted author tours in the Bay Area. She also hatched the idea for the Rock Bottom Remainders band, comprised of a rotating group of authors, and which raises money for charity. Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Barbara Kingsolver have all performed with the band. Among Goldmark’s published works is And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You (2002), about a woman in a rock band. Goldmark died on May 24 at age 63.
Ashbel Green: As a longtime editor at Knopf, Green facilitated the publication of more than 500 books from a diverse range of authors, including Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Walter Cronkite. He died on September 18 at the age of 84. Obituary: Ashbel Green.
Jeanie Guman: Guman, sales director at Disney Book Group, died on November 12. Before Disney, Guman worked as a sales rep at Houghton Mifflin and as Houghton Mifflin liaison to DK, where she also spent 10 years as director of national accounts. Guman joined Disney in 2006, where she supervised sales with distribution partners and booksellers in Canada. Obituary: Jeanie Guman.
Rosa Guy: An author of books for adults and children, Guy was born in Trinidad, but she and her sister joined their parents (who had previously immigrated) in Harlem in 1932. After being orphaned, Guy worked on a factory line to support herself and her sister. Guy’s writing was heavily influenced by these early experiences; in her gritty novel trilogy called The Friends, she wrote about a group of girls struggling in impoverished circumstances in New York City. The urban-centered books addressed issues such as teen pregnancy and homosexuality. Among her most popular works for adults is a restaging of The Little Mermaid called My Love, My Love, or, The Peasant Girl (1985). Guy died on June 3 in Manhattan. She was 89. Obituary: Rosa Guy.
Harry Harrison: Author of the satirical Bill, the Galactic Hero (the Irish Times called it “The Catch-22 of SF”) and The Stainless Steel Rat series died on August 15 at age 87. He created roguish heroes and adventures that entertained while offering stark social criticism. Harrison was a champion and true lover of his genre.
Gerald Harrison: Gerald (Jerry) Harrison, who served as president of children’s books at Random House from 1970 until his retirement in 1996, died on January 19 at 83. Harrison is credited with expanding the reach of Random’s mass market properties, with inexpensive formats, lower price points, and by establishing relationships with licensees like Lucasfilm and Disney. Earlier this year, Patty Sullivan (senior v-p of sales and marketing under Harrison) shared her thoughts about Harrison with PW, saying “Jerry was known for his dry sense of humor and keen instinct for commercial success.” Obituary: Gerald Harrison.
C. David Heymann: Heymann, that rare literary biographer (Ezra Pound: The Last Rower) who became a bestselling biographer of celebrities (A Woman Named Jackie; Liz: An Intimate Biography), died at 67 in May. Heymann infamously ran into some controversy when his biography of the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton was withdrawn by Random House due to factual errors.
Reginald Hill: Hill, who died January 12 at 75, was best known for his series featuring Yorkshire police inspectors Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe; he won the British Crime Writers Association’s Diamond Dagger Award in 1995.
Daryl Hine: The Canadian formalist poet and translator, whose long poems explored his identity as a homosexual, died at 76 on August 20. Hine was the editor of Poetry magazine from 1968 to 1978.
John Keegan: The British military historian, whose books on WWII, the American Civil War, and on the history of warfare generally, died at age 78 in England. Keegan’s The Face of Battle (1975), the study of three major battles centuries apart (Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme), offered a brutal portrait of what men do in the heat of battle.
Robert Kennedy: A fitness guru and publishing juggernaut, Kennedy founded RKP/Robert Kennedy Publishing, which included several health-focused magazines, among them MuscleMag International, American Curves, and Clean Eating. RKP also published hundreds of books on healthy living, with Kennedy authoring more than 55 titles. Branching out from publishing, Kennedy opened 26 fitness stores, and launched a clothing line. Kennedy was alsoa teacher, an avid painter, and photographer. He died on April 12 in his home north of Toronto. He was 73.
Paul Kurtz: A self-defined “secular humanist” and proud skeptic, Kurtz’s career as a writer, publisher, and professor was driven by his governing philosophies. Kurtz founded the independent press Prometheus Books, where he edited dozens of books. His own titles included The Transcendental Temptation (1986), The Courage to Become (1997), and Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism (2008). Kurtz died on October 20 at age 86. Obituary: Paul Kurtz.
Ellen Levine: The children’s book author who often explored civil rights and characters facing tremendous odds died on May 26 at age 73. Her titles include Henry’s Freedom Box (illustrated by Kadir Nelson), based on the true story of a slave who escaped to the North by mailing himself in a box. Levine also wrote In Trouble (2011), about 1950s teenagers faced with unintended pregnancies, and Sea Baby: A Little Otter Returns Home (2012), illustrated by Jon Van Zyle. Obituary: Ellen Levine.
Thomas Locker: Locker turned to a career as a children’s book author and illustrator somewhat late in life; he was foremost a landscape painter in the style of the Hudson River School. Locker went on to illustrate more than 30 books, several of which he also wrote. Editor and publisher Paula Wiseman described how Locker “captured nature as a living thing in his paintings and had a way of seeing and rendering that beauty that is a gift to anyone who read his books or knew his paintings.” Locker died on March 9 in Albany, N.Y., at age 74. Obituary: Thomas Locker.
Margaret Mahy: A pioneering New Zealand author of children’s paranormal fiction, Mahy received broad recognition for The Haunting (1983), about a boy’s chilling family legacy, and The Changeover (1984), about a girl who must become a witch. Both received Carnegie Medals. Mahy published 40 novels, 20 poetry collections, and over 100 picture books, and was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2006. She died July 23 in Christchurch following a brief illness. She was 76. Obituary: Margaret Mahy.
Jean Merrill: Merrill incorporated mature themes into children’s books that crackle with originality. The author wrote more than 30 books, many of which feature resourceful characters overcoming adversity—for example, the peddlers in The Pushcart War (1964), who battle bullying trucks in New York City by using pea shooters. Merrill won Lewis Carroll Shelf Awards both for Pushcart and for The Superlative Horse (1961), drawn from a Chinese tale. Another of her books, The Toothpaste Millionaire, stars a boy who fights a corporate toothpaste manufacturer with his own homemade product. Merrill died on August 2 at age 89. Obituary: Jean Merrill.
Jacqueline Miller: Though she was Ohio-born, Miller was a Francophile at heart. By 1960, she was living in Paris; there, she began working for the Michelle Lapautre Agency as a bookkeeper, where she took on the role of building the children’s rights list. After returning to the U.S., she joined Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1988, developing the publisher’s children’s rights department. Yet her raison d’etre may have been forming her own self-titled agency in Paris in 1999. Miller died on March 16 in Normandy. Obituary: Jacqueline Miller.
Else Holmelund Minarik: The author of the Little Bear series of picture books (several of which were illustrated by Maurice Sendak) died on July 12 at age 91. The first Little Bear book was launched as part of the I Can Read! series, created by Harper & Row children’s editor Ursula Nordstrom. Minarik first wrote the book after noticing the absence of engaging picture books for very early readers. In her lifetime, she would write 40 children’s books; her final one, Little Bear and the Marco Polo, was published in 2010. Obituary: Else Holmelund Minarik.
Richard Morgan: After working as a math teacher, Morgan entered the field of educational publishing in 1968, joining Ginn and Company as an editor. He went on to serve as AAP chairman and CEO of Harcourt Brace & Company, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, and Scott-Foresman. Among his chief accomplishments was the Reading Initiative for Children program, which he established through the AAP. Jim Levy, a friend and colleague, remarked, “Dick will be remembered perhaps more than anything for his fierce loyalty and integrity.” Morgan died on March 9 at age 74. Obituary: Richard Morgan.
Judith Morse: The honored mentor for many professionals in the publishing industry died on November 28. Morse served as director of contracts, copyrights, and permissions at Penguin Group for nearly 40 years.
Una Mulzac: Social activist Mulzac opened Harlem’s Liberation Bookstore in 1967 with the intention of creating a community space where readers could find books by African-American authors and converse about relevant sociopolitical issues. For nearly 40 years, Mulzac’s small, densely packed bookstore served just that purpose. Writer and musician Shariff Simmons once referred to the bookstore as U.C.L.A. (University on the Corner of Lenox Avenue). Mulzac died on January 21 at age 88. Obituary: Liberation Bookstore Founder Una Mulzac.
Patrick O’Connor: O’Connor, former editor-in-chief at Washington Square Press, Pinnacle Books, Popular Library, and Curtis Books, and former senior editor at New American Library and Warner Books, died from complications of pneumonia on October 13. He was 87. Among his clients were Ayn Rand, Lincoln Kirstein, and the New Yorker’s Janet Flanner. O’Connor’s own book of poetry, No Poem for Fritz, was published in 1978, and his charming memoir, Don’t Look Back, came out in 1993.
Ernest E. Owen: Accomplished Christian publisher Ernest (Ernie) E. Owen died on February 28 at age 87. Owen worked at Warner Press and Fleming H. Revell, and joined Word Publishing in 1980 as associate director. Throughout his career, he published such Christian luminaries as Billy Graham, James Dobson, and many others. Author Max Lucado reflected on Owen’s character after his death: “In his fruitful life, he made no enemies, just friends.” Owen was honored with the 1994 Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and a Life Impact Award from CBA in 2000.
Ernest Pena: Our esteemed PW colleague Ernie Pena died unexpectedly on December 4 at age 39. He was a critical member of our team, working as our invaluable IT consultant. In addition to Ernie’s knowledge and savvy skills in his profession, he was also a talented photographer. PW president George Slowik called Ernie “a renaissance man.” We will miss him.
Linda Greenspan Regan: Regan worked in the publishing industry for more than 30 years, serving as executive editor at Carol Publishing and at Plenum Trade Books before becoming executive editor of Prometheus Books, where she acquired nonfiction books and developed the trade list in the area of popular science. Regan worked with authors such as Leon Lederman, Eugene Wigner, and Edward Teller. Steven L. Mitchell, Prometheus Books editor-in-chief, said of Regan: “Linda was a savvy editor who had a feel for the marketplace. She could craft great book deals and then help authors take their ideas and turn them into solid pieces of work that would be embraced by their intended audiences.” Regan died on October 4. Obituary: Linda Greenspan Regan.
Sally Ride: In addition to being the first American female astronaut to travel to space, Sally Ride drew from her knowledge of science to coauthor seven nonfiction children’s books, including To Space and Back (1986) and The Mystery of Mars (1999). Ride was also actively involved in promoting children’s science education programs. Ride died on July 23 at the age of 61. Obituary: Sally Ride.
Deborah Raffin: In addition to being an actress in films such as Once Is Not Enough, Raffin cofounded the audiobook company Dove Books-On-Tape with her husband, Michael Viner. They launched Dove in the mid-1980s; what began as a modest venture grew into lucrative business that included such bestsellers as Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Raffin died on November 21 at age 59. Obituary: Deborah Raffin, 59.
Adrienne Rich: To call Adrienne Rich a feminist poet is not to be reductive: her poetry was unquestionably feminine-focused, topically concerned with women’s history, and the day-to-day experiences of living as a woman. She navigated the wealth of the human experience, scrutinizing the many evolving roles she played in life—as poet, as citizen, and as mother. During the Vietnam War, Rich’s poetry became expressly concerned with the political, most notably in her National Book Award–winning Diving Into the Wreck. Rich published 25 poetry collections in her lifetime. She died on March 27. She was 82. A Tribute to Adrienne Rich .
David Rakoff: Montreal-born Rakoff worked in publishing, radio, as an actor, and as a nonfiction writer. Throughout his career, his essays appeared in such publications as GQ, Details, Salon, and Slate, and he compiled many of them into three essay collections. Rakoff became a frequent contributor to the public radio program This American Life, after befriending fellow comedic writer David Sedaris. Rakoff often addressed themes of materialism and loneliness, and wrote about his path to becoming an American citizen. Rakoff died of cancer on August 9 at age 47. Obituary: David Rakoff.
Judy Rosenblatt: Rosenblatt served as a longtime member of the Hachette Book Group sales team, most recently working as senior national accounts manager with Barnes & Noble. The company released a statement following Rosenblatt’s death: “She will be greatly missed by many colleagues who worked closely with her and will remember her warmth and generosity, and of course, her passion for books.” She died on November 25 at age 60.
Barney Rosset: Back when possessing and distributing a “dirty book” could land you in jail, Rosset got his hands on as many as he could. He was an unrelenting champion of marginalized literature and film, committed to slaying the dragon of censorship in America. In 1951, Rosset bought the humble Grove Press (named for its Greenwich Village street) for $3,000. As head of Grove, his publishing credits included William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and The Story of O by Anne Desclos. He also won a court case enabling Grove to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Rosset would later publish Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. He died on February 21 in Manhattan at the age of 89. Remembering Barney Rosset, Legendary Publisher. Barney Rosset: Passionate Instincts and Financial High-Wire Acts.
Frances Tompson Rutter: Librarian and cofounder of Shoe String Press, Rutter filled a valuable niche by publishing academic books, reprints, and professional literature aimed at librarians. By the late 1960s the company had added the Archon Books and Linnet Books imprints and was publishing 150 titles per year. Rutter died on September 13 at age 92. Obituary: Frances Tompson Rutter.
John T. Sargent Sr.: Sargent worked at Doubleday for 40 years—as a copy editor, editor, and eventually as chief executive. The cache of works that he edited includes poetry by Theodore Roethke and Alex Haley’s Roots. Sargent also facilitated Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s involvement with Doubleday as an editor. Sargent died on February 5 at age 87.
Tony Schulte: After serving as a v-p at Simon & Schuster, Schulte joined Knopf in 1968 from S&S, along with Robert Gottlieb and Nina Bourne, and helped turn Knopf into a literary powerhouse. After leaving Knopf, Schulte worked for the investment banking firm Veronis Schuler where he advised on publishing mergers and acquisitions. He later joined with Richard Gallen and David Lamb to form GSL Partners, a firm that specialized in book publishing acquisitions. He died in June at the age of 82. Obituary: Tony Schulte, 82.
Maurice Sendak: The author and illustrator of such classics as Where the Wild Things Are (1963) and In the Night Kitchen (1970) died on May 8 at age 83. Never defining himself as a “kiddie” book author, Sendak combined deceptively simple verses with bestial illustrations that assert the looming terrors and marvels of childhood. Darkness is almost always present in Sendak’s books (he famously rejected the notion that children should be sheltered from life’s inevitable discomforts). He wrote up until the final months of his life: My Brother’s Book, a metaphysical ode to his lost sibling and a meditation upon impending death, releases this February. Like Bumble-Ardy (the eponymous porcine star of the 2011 picture book), his defiance was equally matched by his tender and childlike awe of human ambiguities and the rules of the universe. Obituary: Maurice Sendak Dead at 83. Maurice Sendak: An Appreciation. Maurice Sendak Remembered. A Final Farewell to Maurice Sendak.
Josef Skvorecky: The Czech-born author died at age 87 in his adopted home city of Toronto. He ws a contemporary of fellow Czech writers Milan Kundera, Jaroslav Seifert, and Vaclav Havel. In the repressive aftermath of the Prague Spring of 1968, Skvorecky and his wife relocated to Canada, where he led a program for giving voice to dissident Czech writers. Among his many novels are The Miracle Game and The Engineer of Human Souls, both of which feature his endearing alter ego, Danny Smiricky.
Larry Sloan: Larry Sloan, who cofounded Price Stern Sloan with Leonard Stern and Roger Price in 1953, died in Los Angeles on October 14 at 89. Sloan may be best remembered for transforming the family road trip with the invention of Mad Libs (in turn, fostering both grammar fluency and creative use of potty humor for generations). In addition to Mad Libs, Stern published The Elephant Book in 1963 and the World’s Worst Jokes series, among other interactive titles that served as learning bridges for reluctant readers. The Price Stern Sloan imprint lives on with the Putnam Berkley Group. Obituary: Larry Sloan, 89.
Louis Simpson: Poet, editor, and critic Simpson, who won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his 1964 collection, At the End of the Open Road, died at age 89 on September 14. Among his many books is the acclaimed study of the poems of Pound, Eliot, and Williams, Three on a Tower (1975).
Gene Smith: The historian and biographer Smith, known best for his study of American presidents, died at age 89 on July 25. Among his works: When the Cheering Stopped: The Later Years of Woodrow Wilson and The Shattered Dream: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression.
Donald J. Sobol: Sobol began his writing career as a copy boy at for the New York Sun, but in 1959, he found a winning formula with his syndicated Two Minute Mysteries stories for adults. Sobol turned to writing for children with the Encyclopedia Brown series, a collection of chapter books about an amateur sleuth. Sobol’s final (28th) book in the series, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme, was published posthumously in October 2012. Sobol died on July 11 at age 87. Obituary: Donald J. Sobol.
Arthur O. Sulzberger: The New York Times publisher and media giant died on September 29 at the age of 86. Sulzberger spent 30 years with the newspaper, expanding its reach and transforming it into the monolithic publication that it remains today. Sulzberger (who was nicknamed “Punch”) was dedicated to protecting freedom of the press—a stance that he demonstrated most notably by publishing the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
Dorothea Tanning: Painter and poet Tanning, the widow of surrealist painter Max Ernst, died at 104. A collection of her poems, Coming to That, was warmly received when published by Graywolf in 2011. Tanning made a gift to the American Academy of Poets in 1994, which funds the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Prize.
Atha Tehon: As art director at Dial Books for Young Readers for 32 years, Tehon worked with many noted authors and illustrators, including Maurice Sendak, William Stieg, and Leo and Diane Dillon. Tehon also served as a freelance designer for Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Regina Hayes, who worked with Tehon at Dial, spoke warmly of Tehon’s artistic sensibilities: “Atha had the most refined and elegant design sense of anyone I know.... Her goal always was to enhance the artist’s work, rather than to call attention to her design.” Tehon died on February 15 at age 86. Obituary: Atha Tehon .
Barry Unsworth: Unsworth, whose novel about the slave trade, Sacred Hunger, won the Booker Prize in 1992, died at age 81 in June. Born in a mining town in England, Unsworth lived around the world, teaching and writing. Among his 17 novels are his first, The Partnership (1966), Morality Play (1995), which was shortlisted for the Booker, and The Songs of the Kings (2004).
Sam Vaughan: The former president, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Doubleday, who later became editor and senior v-p at Random House, died January 30 at age 83. Vaughan helped turn Doubleday into a major publishing house for such authors as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Wallace Stegner, Irving Stone, and Duke Ellington. “Sam was a giant, a fabulous man, a great leader, and a remarkable and very creative editor,” Random House executive v-p Kate Medina said in a statement following Vaughan’s death. Obituary: Sam Vaughan.
Bob Silverstein: Before his tenure as president of Quick Silver Literary, Silverstein gained experience as senior editor of Delacorte Press and Bantam Books. Silverstein had a keen eye for fruitful acquisitions—particularly when they involved cross-media ventures. While at Quick Silver, he published numerous novelizations based on film properties, including Chariots of Fire, Shampoo, and Last Tango in Paris (which became an international bestseller in 1973). Silverstein died on November 3 at age 76. Obituary: Bob Silverstein.
Peter D. Sieruta: A true and passionate connoisseur of stories, the author and reviewer became known to many for his humorous and lively blog “Collecting Children’s Books.” Sieruta’s own YA collection, Heartbeats and Other Stories, was published in 1989. Sieruta also coauthored a forthcoming behind-the-scenes window into the children’s book world, tentatively titled Wild Things!: Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children’s Books and Their Creators. Obituary: Peter D. Sieruta.
Gore Vidal: While he dexterously wrote 25 novels, numerous essays, plays, and scripts, Gore Vidal always seemed to find time to swap insults with anyone who sniffed at him funny. Vidal will probably be best remembered for his magazine pieces appearing in publications like Esquire, the Nation, and the New Yorker. His essays on history, portraits of definitive Americans (Theodore Roosevelt = “American sissy”), literature, and American global influence (among other topics) were compiled into the collection United States: Essays, 1952–1992, which received the 1993 National Book Award. The 86-year-old author and media firebrand died on July 31 in the Hollywood Hills. Gore Vidal: 1925-2012.
Wendy Weil: The literary agent who helped to publish such works as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, and Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café died on September 22 at age 72. The New York native spent 50 years in publishing, first in the training program at Doubleday and eventually founding the Wendy Weil Agency in 1986. Weil was well loved by her clients, who remarked upon the multifarious nature of the projects she championed. Emily Forland, Weil’s colleague at the agency, commented on Weil’s “charm, meticulousness, reasonable arguments, creativity, and incredible tenaciousness.” Obituary: Wendy Weil.
Bill Wallace: Years of teaching and working as an elementary school principal informed Wallace’s career as a children’s book author. Among his 31 titles (and seven that he coauthored with his wife, Carol) are A Dog Called Kitty (1980) and Danger in Panther Peak (2008). He received 20 state Children’s Choice Awards and the Arrell M. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Wallace died on January 30 at 64. Obituary: Bill Wallace.
Robert E. Whitaker Sr.: Bob Whitaker, a devout man whose faith was a catalyst for his career, died on May 3 at age 83. Born again in the 1960s, Whitaker, an electrical sales representative, made a dramatic shift. He developed Whitaker House, which publishes Christian fiction and nonfiction titles. Nightbringer by James Byron Huggins was honored as one of Library Journal’s top five Christian novels for 2004. Whitaker’s sons will continue to run the company.
Reed Whittemore: Whittemore, who twice served as U.S. poet laureate, died at 92 in May. In addition to volumes of poetry, he published a literary biography of William Carlos Williams, a memoir, and other books of literary analysis.
Jeffrey Zaslow: The nonfiction author and journalist who wrote human interest stories often based upon contemporary events, died in a car accident on February 10 at the age of 53. Zaslow’s books include Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, coauthored with Rep. Gabrielle Gifford and Mark Kelly, and The Girls from Ames, about a group of female friends. Zaslow often wrote about life changes and impermanence in his Wall Street Journal column, “Moving On.” Following his death, editor Robert Thomson spoke of Zaslow’s work: “Jeff’s writing, for the Journal and in his books, has been a source of inspiration for many people around the world, and his journalistic life has been a source of inspiration for all journalists.” Obituary: Jeffrey Zaslow.