Longtime book representative Charles “Chuck” Morrell died on January 17, after a period of declining health, in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 88.

Born in Newark, N.J., Morrell's 60-year career in publishing included long stints as a publisher's at Doubleday and St. Martin’s Press, as well as multiple commission lines.

“We will all miss Chuck—his knowledge, kindness and that big smile of his,” longtime publicist Jacqueline Green said. Former Random House rep Sandy Pollack added: “He was simply the best of us.”

After retiring from St. Martin’s, he became sales manager for Angel City Press in Santa Monica, where his efforts helped the small company grow. In later years, he also began an author escort service, hosting visiting authors who were touring Southern California.

“I keep thinking about how he came to us and saved our company, and how we are called Angel City Press,” Angel City Press copublisher Paddy Calistro McAuley said. ”How appropriate it is that Chuck is now a full-fledged ‘angel.’”