Longtime Abrams Books rep Lawrence "Larry" F. Adamo died on February 19. He was 82.
Born in the Bronx, Adamo graduated from high school in 1958. Later, he began working in a bookstore, and by the end of his career, he was a senior sales representative for Abrams—both positions, his family noted, that paired his love of books with his love of people.
"His life was filled with conversation, creating artwork full of texture and color, and enjoying life in a small town," his family wrote in his obituary. "He was a man who knew the baker and butcher by name. He was genuinely interested in hearing about other people's lives, and chatted with waiters and those he met on the street."
An additional interest, painting, led him to befriend Countess Catherine Karolyi and the Michael Karolyi Artist Foundation in Vence, France. At the time, Adamo joined a "seven-acre artist colony sheltered under olive groves and fruit trees," where he found a sanctuary that fed his loves for conversation and art.
And when Adamo wasn't traveling, books kept him moving.
"He loved books and the worlds to which they could transport you," his family shared. "He loved the jazz music of Bix Beiderbecke and of classical composers. He did not own a cell phone. He eschewed technology, using a computer he borrowed from the library and grudgingly using email. He was a gentleman for whom a good cup of coffee and a slice of panettone was a ritual to be slowly and intentionally enjoyed. He had an elegant soul."
In a statement, Abrams said: “Larry was beloved and respected by his colleagues who remember him for his wit, wisdom, and most of all his passion for our books. Larry loved illustrated books and art—he was a lifelong painter—and happily passed on his knowledge to subsequent generations of colleagues in the sales and other departments at Abrams. Remembered fondly for his non-sequiturs and unique sense of humor, Larry will be missed by all of us and by his customers.”
Adamo is survived by his brother, Robert, and Robert's wife, RuthAnn; his niece, Susan Baliles, and her husband, Paul Baliles; and his other niece, Aileen Connors, in addition to five grandnephews and one grand-niece.