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July 6: Basic Books

Arthur Rosenthal, who took over a psychoanalytic book club in 1952 and turned it into Basic Books, an imprint that he sold to Harper and Row twenty years later for $4 million, died at 93 on this date in 2013. The New York Times called him “a publisher of intellectual masterworks in an era of […]

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Orthodox Women, Escaping

by Susan Reimer-Torn From the Spring 2016 issue of Jewish Currents FAIGY MEYER BECAME a tabloid headline last July when she leapt to her death from a Manhattan rooftop bar. Faige (shown below) was not a fictional character, nor did she write a memoir. She was a 30-year-old woman who had left behind her ultra-Orthodox […]

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June 7: Mad Libs

Leonard B. Stern, the co-inventor of the low-brow party word game, Mad Libs, died at 87 in Beverly Hills on this date in 2011. Stern was a television writer for Get Smart, The Honeymooners, The Phil Silvers Show, and The Steve Allen Show, and also wrote a couple of Abbott and Costello movies. More than […]

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October 19: Workman Publishing

Peter Workman, founder of one of America’s last successful independent publishers, Workman Publishing, was born in Great Neck, New York on this date in 1938. He founded Workman as a book packager and promoter in 1967, and built it into a company that launched about forty titles per year, with one of every three achieving […]

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August 30: Dorothy Schiff’s New York Post

Dorothy Schiff, granddaughter of the famed financier Jacob Schiff and owner-publisher of the New York Post during its liberal hey-day, for nearly four decades, died at 86 on this date in 1989. Married four times and involved with many other men, she was wealthy throughout her life and, according to Francesca Tillona at the Jewish […]

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In Memoriam: Al Feldstein, Shulamit Aloni

by Bennett Muraskin Al Feldstein October 24, 1925 – April 29, 2014 MAD MAGAZINE was essential reading for teenagers in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Its manic, irreverent style of humor may have helped launch the cultural revolution of the 1960s. It certainly influenced a generation of comedians and various facets of mass media, including […]

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March 13: The Publishing Mogul

Walter Annenberg, who created TV Guide and Seventeen magazine and contributed some $2 billion to universities, art museums, and other cultural institutions during his lifetime, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on this date in 1908. Annenberg’s mob-connected father Moe published the Daily Racing Form and purchased the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1936 before falling into tax […]

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September 12: Alfred A. Knopf

Alfred Abraham Knopf, Sr. the founder of one of America’s most prestigious publishing houses, was born in New York on this date in 1892. He is said to have been the first Jew to work at Doubleday in 1912, and by 1915 he and his wife-to-be Blanche launched their own publishing house, which produced handsome, […]

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