Bob Loomis, who began his career as an editor at Random House when company founders Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer were still running the publisher, died April 19 at age 93. Loomis officially retired from Random House in June 2011.
In announcing his death, Gina Centrello, Random House president and publisher, spoke of Loomis’s “values and work ethic” which, she said, “are permanently embedded in the Random House DNA.” Loomis edited some of America’s most important authors, with Centrello pointing to his work with “Maya Angelou (every one of her more than thirty books), William Styron, Edmund Morris, Robert Massie, Shelby Foote, Calvin Trillin, and hundreds of others whose literary careers he guided, assisting them in the creation of many works that have been and will be read for decades.”
Often described as an old-fashion editor, Centrello point to a 2007 profile of Loomis in the New York Times, which said Loomis “has remained rooted in the classic mold of the editor, which is to stay in the background. It's not about him, he says, but about the genius of his writers.”
Centrello called Loomis her first friend at Random House and counted herself among one of many “who adored and learned from Bob, who inspired several generations of editors and publishers.”