James L. Mairs, an editor at W. W. Norton & Company since August 1, 1963 who was still working at his office in the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters on July 26, died that night of heart failure after suffering from leukemia and Parkinson's disease. He was 77.

Mairs joined Norton as a traveling college sales representative a year after graduating from Dartmouth College. He was promoted to college editor in 1967 and moved to the firm’s trade division in 1973 as senior editor and director of production. He was elected a v-p of the company in the early 1970s and a director of the company in 1973.

Primarily an editor of history, biography, art, and photography, Mairs saw two books he edited win Pulitzer Prizes—William Taubman’s Khrushchev and William McFeely’s Grant. He also edited the facsimile edition of Carl Jung’s illuminated The Red Book, among many other titles.

Mairs officially retired from Norton in 2002, but continued working at the same office as editor of additional Norton books and as founder and head of his own one-man publishing house, Quantuck Lane Press, which is distributed by Norton. At Quantuck Lane, his mission was to publish books of photography, art, and the eccentric.

An accomplished photographer in his own right, Mairs’s office at Norton was filled to the brim with memorabilia, artwork, and quirky keepsakes of a half-century in publishing. He is survived by his wife, Gina Webster; their two children, Anna Webster Mairs and William Webster Mairs; and two daughters by a previous marriage, Nina Mairs and Alexandra Mairs Tart.

A memorial service is being planned for the fall.