Judith Jones, the longtime editor of literary works and cookbooks at Knopf, died on August 2 at her summer home in Vermont. She was 93.
A prolific editor, Jones made her mark by discovering Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl in a slush pile in Paris. Later, she sold Alfred Knopf on a then-unknown Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, bringing a future mainstay of the American culinary world into the Knopf fold.
“It is impossible to imagine book publishing without Judith,” Knopf chairman and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta said in a statement. “Her authors have been recipients of five Pulitzer Prizes, five National Book Awards, and three National Book Critics Circle Awards, and her cookbook authors have been recipients of 41 awards from the James Beard Foundation and 13 awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. And Judith herself was honored with lifetime achievement awards from both the James Beard Foundation and IACP."
He added: "It is no exaggeration to say that she profoundly influenced not only the way America reads but also the way we cook.”
Jones worked with cookbook authors as renowned and diverse as James Beard, Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, Marion Cunningham, Madhur Jaffrey, Joan Nathan, and Lidia Bastianich. All the while, she remained associated with publishing's literary circuit, editing luminaries like John Updike, Anne Tyler, William Maxwell, John Hersey, Peter Taylor, and Sharon Olds.
Jones joined Knopf in 1957 and retired from the company in 2011. Plans for a memorial are forthcoming.