Fred Kobrak, a former president of Collier Macmillan International in London and well-traveled international sales executive, died on December 12. He was 88 years old.
Kobrak was born in Germany, but spent much of his life abroad: in South America, where he helped open the education markets to publishers, as well as in the U.K. and in the United States, where he settled. He worked for Macmillan for a total of 35 years and, following his retirement, consulted with Thompson for another decade.
Even in his final years, Kobrak continued to be an influential voice in organizations such as the Association of American Publishers and the International Publishers Association. A fixture at book fairs, Kobrak attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for 56 years.
"Fred’s whole life was dedicated to books and publishing on a global scale," said Tina Jordan, vice-president of the Association of American Publishers. "His contributions both in public and behind the scenes on the international exchange of ideas and content across the borders was one that was valued and appreciated by all those who knew him. He was the purest of international book people. He will be missed."