The original publisher of what is now Times Books, Herbert Nagourney, died at his home in Manhattan on June 12. He was 87.

Nagourney’s half-century in publishing covered just about every aspect of the business, both trade and professional, from management, administration, and production, to sales. He joined Basic Books in 1951, and went on to establish 14 professional book clubs, including the Library of Science and the Behavioral Science Book Service. The clubs were purchased by the book division of Crowell-Collier, which then merged into Macmillan. He was named v-p, administration at Macmillan in 1965.

Four years later Nagourney moved to The New York Times as director of its book and education division. He subsequently became president of Quadrangle, later known as Quadrangle/ New York Times Book Company. Under his tenure newsroom byliners like Tom Wicker, Hedrick Smith, Fox Butterfield, and Harrison Salisbury became bestselling authors.

Nagourney is survived by his wife, Ann Bramson, publisher of Artisan, and his children, Adam, Beth, Eric and Sam Nagourney.