Alfred Knopf Jr. Authored His Own Career

Courtesy of

It doesn’t always matter what your dad did. You can make your own way, based on who you are, and your personal brand. Here’s the Knopf story, courtesy of

An industry struggling to turn the page lost one of its preeminent publishers on Saturday. Alfred A. Knopf Jr., who died at the age of 90 from complications related to a fall in mid-January, shared his name with his father–considered one of literature’s foremost publishers–and his parents’ prominent publishing house. The junior Knopf, however, preferred to go by “Pat” and despite being heir apparent to the family business, started a publishing company of his own with two friends.

In 1959, the younger Knopf established Atheneum Publishers with Simon Michael Bessie, then a senior editor at Harper & Brothers, and Hiram Hayden, Random House’s editor-in-chief. Although the company never attained the same level of success as his father’s house, which published works by D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, best-sellers seemed to be in the blood.

Read on!

2 thoughts on “Alfred Knopf Jr. Authored His Own Career

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