Publishers

Publishers are the individuals traditionally engaged in the business of publishing of books, periodicals, and engravings, while in the modern sense the term also refers to the ones who publish computer software. They are usually the owners or the business head of a newspaper organization or publishing house. Publishers work to release books, novels, magazines, newspapers, textbooks and other printed works to the public. Publishing has a long history—Babylonian clay tablet, the Egyptian papyrus roll, and the medieval vellum codex have all served as publishing media at some points in history. The Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Chinese were also known to produce books on an extensive scale. In more recent history, William Collins, a 19th century Scottish publisher produced the first Collins English Dictionary and founded William Collins, Sons, now part of HarperCollins. American publisher Bennett Alfred Cerf co-founded the publishing firm Random house along with Donald Simon Klopfer. Also counted amongst the best known publishers of the 20th century, Richard Simon and Max Schuster were the ones to publish the first book of crossword puzzles. Browse on to learn more about the life and works of famous publishers from all over the world.
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 1 Julian Assange

Julian Assange
4
Famous As: Computer programmer
Birthdate: July 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Townsville, Australia

Julian Assange made headlines all over the world in 2010 when WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization founded by him, gained international attention after publishing leaks, such as the Afghanistan war logs and Iraq war logs. After dodging arrest for several years, he was finally arrested in 2019 and is currently imprisoned in HM Prison Belmarsh.

 2 Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
6
Famous As: Founder of Playboy Magazine
Birthdate: April 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 27, 2017

As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.

 3 Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart
4
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: August 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States

The founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Martha Stewart has found success with several business ventures. She is also the publisher of a magazine called Martha Stewart Living and has written many bestselling books. Although she was convicted of charges pertaining to the ImClone stock trading case, she made a comeback and became chairwoman of her company.

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 4 Mark Twain

Mark Twain
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florida, Missouri, United States
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

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 5 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst
4
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 6 Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg
4
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: 1400 AD
Birthplace: Mainz, Germany
Died: February 3, 1468

Credit goes to Johannes Gutenberg for transforming book-making from manuscripts to the printed form as he introduced the movable-type printing press in the 15th century. The German printer and publisher’s invention contributed to mass communication during the Renaissance. He was not successful in his business and was exiled during the later years of his life.  He was also a goldsmith.

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 7 Peaches Geldof

Peaches Geldof
4
Famous As: English columnist
Birthdate: March 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: April 7, 2014
Peaches Geldof, daughter of singer Bob Geldof and TV presenter Paula Yates, wrote for publications such as Elle Girl and The Guardian. She later presented her own TV shows, such as Peaches Geldof: Teen America, and modeled. Geldof was a Scientologist. She died of a heroin overdose at age 25.
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 8 Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lakeville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died: February 10, 2021
Larry Flynt, owner of Larry Flynt Publications and editor of Hustler magazine, gained fame after publishing some photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sunbathing naked on a vacation. He was paralyzed from the waist down after an assassination attempt in 1978. He has also faced many legal battles related to obscenity.
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 9 Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham
4
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: June 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 17, 2001

 10 Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes
4
Famous As: politician, publisher, journalist
Birthdate: July 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Morristown

 11 Joseph Pulitzer

Joseph Pulitzer
4
Famous As: Journalist & Publisher
Birthdate: April 10, 1847
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Makó
Died: October 29, 1911

Joseph Pulitzer was a newspaper publisher who became a national figure in the Democratic Party after crusading against corruption and big business. Pulitzer is also credited with founding the Columbia School of Journalism. The world-renowned Pulitzer Prizes, which are awarded annually to reward excellence in various fields, are named in his honor.

 12 Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: December 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
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 13 Carter Woodson

Carter Woodson
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Canton, Virginia, United States
Died: April 3, 1950

Historian Carter Woodson was is remembered for pioneering Black studies in schools and colleges. He began the Negro History Week, which is now celebrated as the Black History Month. Poverty had pushed him to work in the coal mines initially, and he couldn’t join high school before 20.

 14 Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf
4
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: May 25, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Died: August 27, 1971
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 15 Bob Guccione

Bob Guccione
4
Famous As: Founded the adult magazine Penthouse in 1965
Birthdate: December 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: October 20, 2010

 16 Jim Lee

Jim Lee
6
Famous As: Publisher and Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics
Birthdate: August 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

Korean-American comic-book artist Jim Lee began his career with Marvel and then soared to fame with his X-Men series. Though initially trained in psychology, he skipped medical school and became a comic writer instead. Apart from co-founding Image Comics, he also created WildStorm, which he sold to DC later.

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 17 Jann Wenner

Jann Wenner
4
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: January 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Jann Wenner is an American magazine mogul best known as the co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. He is also credited with co-founding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other popular publications like Outside. During the 1970s and 1980s, Wenner played a key role in popularizing several writers like Greil Marcus, Hunter S. Thompson, and Cameron Crowe.

 18 Alison Tyler

Alison Tyler
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Los Angeles County, California, USA

Alison Tyler is the pen name of an American writer, editor, and publisher. The publisher of erotica, Tyler is credited with writing over 20 explicit novels. She has also edited over 60 erotic anthologies and is credited with founding her own publishing company called Pretty Things Press. Her work, which focuses on erotic themes, has been translated into many languages.

 19 Phil Graham

Phil Graham
4
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: July 18, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Terry, South Dakota, United States
Died: August 3, 1963

 20 Jerry Siegel

Jerry Siegel
4
Famous As: Comics artist, Writer
Birthdate: October 17, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cleveland
Died: January 28, 1996

 21 Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff Vandermeer
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, United States

Jeff Vandermeer is an American author, literary critic, and editor. Dubbed the King of Weird Fiction by The New Yorker, VanderMeer's works are renowned for eluding genre classifications as he often incorporates elements of postmodernism, New Weird, eco-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction into his writing. He has won many prestigious awards like World Fantasy Awards, Locus Award, and Nebula Award.

 22 Robert Bernard Sherman

Robert Bernard Sherman
4
Famous As: Songwriter
Birthdate: December 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, US
Died: March 6, 2012

 23 Kevin Eastman

Kevin Eastman
4
Famous As: Comics artist, Publisher, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States

 24 Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes
4
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: August 19, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: February 24, 1990

 25 William Lyon Mackenzie

William Lyon Mackenzie
4
Famous As: 1st Mayor of Toronto, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada (1851–1858)
Birthdate: March 12, 1795
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: August 28, 1861

Born in Scotland, William Lyon Mackenzie moved to Canada as a merchant but soon got involved in the country’s politics. He later stepped into journalism and launched his own newspaper, the Colonial Advocate. He spearheaded the Canadian Rebellion of 1837, a failed uprising against the Canadian government.

 26 Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook

Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
4
Famous As: Newspaper publisher
Birthdate: May 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maple, Vaughan, Canada
Died: June 9, 1964

 27 Will Eisner

Will Eisner
4
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: March 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 2005

 28 Porter Stansberry

Porter Stansberry
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Not known

 29 Randolph Apperson Hearst

Randolph Apperson Hearst
4
Famous As: Business People
Birthdate: December 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: December 18, 2000

 30 Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
4
Famous As: Media Tycoon
Birthdate: March 11, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corp owns hundreds of publishing outlets and TV channels around the world, including The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Fox News. His media houses have been accused of hacking the phones of celebrities and public citizens. He has also had to face allegations of bribery and corruption in the UK and the US.

 31 Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox Ford
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26, 1939

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 32 Joe Simon

Joe Simon
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 11, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
Died: December 14, 2011

 33 Richard Elfman

Richard Elfman
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Watts, California, United States

 34 Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloomington, Illinois, United States
Died: May 7, 1915

 35 Walter Annenberg

Walter Annenberg
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: March 13, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 1, 2002

 36 Jussi Adler-Olsen

Jussi Adler-Olsen
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

Jussi Adler-Olsen is a Danish writer, editor, publisher, and entrepreneur. Apart from being a popular figure in Denmark, Adler-Olsen has also enjoyed success in countries like the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. His novels have been sold in over 40 languages and some of his works have been adapted into successful films.  

 37 John W. Henry

John W. Henry
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: September 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quincy, Illinois, United States

 38 P. B. S. Pinchback

P. B. S. Pinchback
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 10, 1837
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States
Died: December 21, 1921

 39 Hugo Gernsback

Hugo Gernsback
4
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: August 16, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Died: August 19, 1967

 40 Henry Luce

Henry Luce
4
Famous As: Journalist, Publisher
Birthdate: April 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dengzhou
Died: February 28, 1967

 41 Milton Bradley

Milton Bradley
3
Famous As: Publisher, Writer
Birthdate: November 8, 1836
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Maine, United States
Died: May 30, 1911

 42 Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Pakistan

 43 George DiCaprio

George DiCaprio
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 2, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States

Writer, editor, and publisher, George DiCaprio, is known for his work in the underground comix world. He was a popular figure in the 1970s and published comics like Greaser Comics and Forbidden Knowledge. His son, Leonardo DiCaprio, is a famous actor. George played a significant role in his son’s early career and used to screen scripts for him.

 44 Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson

Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Writer
Birthdate: January 7, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greeneville, Tennessee, United States
Died: September 21, 1965

 45 Frederik Pohl

Frederik Pohl
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 2, 2013

 46 Iain Dale

Iain Dale
3
Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: July 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

 47 Richard Desmond

Richard Desmond
3
Famous As: Publisher, Autobiographer, Businessperson
Birthdate: December 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead

 48 Stan Lee

Stan Lee
0
Famous As: Comic book writer
Birthdate: December 28, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: November 12, 2018

Stan Lee was one of the most popular comic book writers, thanks to his appearances in several Marvel movies. He is well-known as the co-creator of many famous superheroes, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Hulk. He pioneered a naturalistic method to writing superhero comics and challenged the Comics Code Authority, which ultimately led to changes in its policies.

 49 Caresse Crosby

Caresse Crosby
3
Famous As: Publisher, Writer, Socialite, Poet, Memoirist, Journalist
Birthdate: April 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1970

 50 John H. Johnson

John H. Johnson
3
Famous As: Publisher, Entrepreneur
Birthdate: January 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arkansas City, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 8, 2005