Howard Kaminsky, a former president and publisher of Warner Books, Random House and William Morrow/Avon, has died. He was 77.
Kaminsky, who was also an author, began his career in publishing in the early 1960s, after he graduated college. He first job was in subsidiary rights at Knopf.
After leaving publishing for several years to write screenplays and produce movies, Kaminsky returned to the industry in 1972 as president and publisher of Paperback Library, a precursor to what would eventually become Warner Books (and, later still, the Hachette Book Group). He is credited with growing the size and scope of the business. And, during his tenure, Warner published such bestselling authors as Norman Mailer and Jackie Collins.
In 1984 Kaminsky was named publisher of Random House. and was widely assumed to be in line to succeed Robert Bernstein as chairman of the publisher, but in 1987 he left the company. Kaminsky quickly resurfaced as president of William Morrow/Avon. Among the authors he published during this period were Elmore Leonard, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and David Halberstam.
In addition to producing films, Kaminsky also co-wrote a series of thriller novels with his wife, Susan Kaminsky, who died in 2005. The two wrote and published more than five novels under the pseudonyms Brooks Stanwood and Arthur Reid. After the death of his wife, Kaminsky continued to published novels, including Angel Wings in 2013. He also wrote several self-help books.