Alfred A. Knopf, 1918-2009

Publisher and Atheneum co-founder Alfred A. (“Pat”) Knopf Jr., 90, died on February 14, 2009, from complications after a fall. He left the eponymous publishing house run by his parents, Alfred A. & Blanche Wolfe Knopf, after they refused to hire editor Simon Michael Bessie as their eventual successor. With Bessie and editor Hiram Haydn, Knopf founded Atheneum in 1959, and over the years the company has published SF/fantasy authors including Anne McCaffrey, Patricia A. McKillip, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Atheneum merged with another independent publisher, Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1978, to form Scribner Book Companies, which was acquired in 1984 by Macmillan Inc., where Knopf assumed responsibility for adult books published by Scribner’s houses until his retirement in 1988.

A full obituary will follow in the upcoming March issue of Locus.

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