Melvin Shapiro, called by PW in 2000 “as the sage of the bargain book business,” died this month at age 90.
Shapiro entered the book industry in 1964, when he left his uncle's jewelry business to join his brother-in-law’s small distribution company, Book Sales. Eventually, Shapiro became president of the business, and he turned it into one of the world's largest promotional and remainder publishers, selling books to a large and diverse group of publishers around the world.
When Shapiro retired from Book Sales October 2016, he was regarded as one of the most engaging and entertaining personalities in the publishing industry. His peers described him "a pioneer in the book business" and “an absolute legend.”
He is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Arlene Shapiro; three children, Steven Shapiro, Jaime (Shapiro) Cohen, and Sloan Shapiro; son-in-law Kenneth Cohen; and two grandchildren, Alexandra and Andrew Cohen.