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Alan Williams, who for nearly 20 years held senior positions at Viking, working closely with many celebrated and bestselling authors, died May 16 after a long battle against cancer. He was 72.
Williams began his publishing career as advertising manager at McGraw-Hill, then went on to J.B. Lippincott and to an editorial spot at Little, Brown before joining Viking as managing editor in 1965. From then until 1984, when he left as v-p and editorial director, Williams edited a strikingly powerful group of authors that included Frederick Forsyth, Malcolm Cowley, Gail Godwin, Stephen King, Nadine Gordimer, Shirley Hazzard, Iris Murdoch, Angus Wilson, Patrick White, Tom Wicker and Elizabeth Jane Howard.
After that, Williams spent three years at Putnam, briefly headed the Arbor House imprint at William Morrow and worked for a time at Grove while it was part of Ann Getty's Wheatland Corporation. In recent years he had been a freelance editor. In 1988 he married agent Robin Rue, now at the Writers House agency.
A memorial service will be held May 27 at 4 p.m. at the Century Club, 7 W. 43rd St., New York City.
Joseph Fox, founder of the Joseph Fox Bookstore in Philadelphia, died May 9. He was 83.
Fox was a bookselling institution in Philadelphia for 47 years. Along with his wife, Madeline, he opened the bookstore in 1951 on Philadelphia's Sansom St., where it remains. The store will continue under the direction of Madeline and their son Michael.
Blanche C. Gregory, a literary agent for more than 60 years, died after a long illness April 6.
Gregory suffered a stroke in 1993. Gertrude Bregman, her long-time associate, will continue to manage the agency.
Gertrude Noyes, co-founder of China Books and Periodicals Inc., died April 10 while visiting her native England. She was 84.
In Chicago in 1960, Noyes and her husband, Henry, began distributing books from the PRC. In 1963, the company expanded with its first bestseller, Quotations from Chairman Mao. It continues under their children Chris and Nicolette.
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