Richard Robinson, CEO Of Harry Potter And Goosebumps Publisher Scholastic, Dies Aged 84
Richard Robinson, the CEO of the publishing house behind the Harry Potter, Goosebumps and Captain Underpants series, has died aged 84.
Robinson led children’s publisher Scholastic from 1975 until his death. While at the helm, he backed several then-unknown authors who went on to become some of the best-selling children’s writers of all time, including JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins.
In a statement announcing his death, Scholastic said:
We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson.
Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life.
Robinson is understood to have passed away on June 5. Scholastic did not provide further details of the cause of death, but that he had been in ‘excellent health’.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1937, Robinson was the son of Maurice R. Robinson, who founded Scholastic in 1920. Richard attended Harvard University, and went on to become a schoolteacher before taking the helm at his father’s company, first as president in 1974, then as CEO a year later.
Under his leadership Scholastic went on to become a giant in the world of children’s publishing, taking on not only Harry Potter and Goosebumps, but other favourites including The Hunger Games and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
According to Deadline, Robinson was forced to defend titles like Harry Potter and Captain Underpants from censors who claimed the books were too mature for children.
In 2017, Robinson was awarded an honorary National Book Award for outstanding service to the literature community, and in 2013, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia for service to the promotion of children’s literature worldwide.
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