NEW YORK — Richard Robinson, who because the longtime head of Scholastic Inc. formed the studying habits of tens of millions of younger readers by way of such bestsellers as J.Ok. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels and thru a variety of academic supplies, studying golf equipment and guide gala’s, has died. He was 84.
The youngsters’s publishing big introduced that Robinson died Saturday, however didn’t instantly present a trigger. He had been in glorious well being, in line with the writer.
“We’re deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson,” Scholastic’s board of administrators stated in an announcement. “Dick was a real visionary on this planet of youngsters’s books and an unrelenting advocate for kids’s literacy and training with a outstanding ardour his whole life.”
is the world’s largest writer of youngsters’s books and has lengthy stated it distributes 1 out of each 3 kids’s guide within the U.S. The publicly traded firm’s estimated web value is round $1.2 billion, down from over $1.6 billion in 2016 however nicely above a low of beneath $800 million throughout final 12 months’s pandemic.
Moreover the “Potter” books, Scholastic additionally publishes such widespread sequence as Suzanne Collins’ “The Starvation Video games,” Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” and Norman Bridwell’s “Clifford the Massive Purple Canine.” Scholastic is in any other case a classroom fixture by way of its golf equipment, newsletters and different packages, together with a partnership with novelist James Patterson. Individuals in Scholastic’s annual Artwork & Writing Awards for college kids have included Robert Redford, Stephen King and Lena Dunham.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted Sunday that “Robinson was a large and a legend in kids’s literature” and cited his “lasting legacy” as a supporter of libraries and studying.
Robinson, a Pittsburgh native and graduate of Harvard Faculty, was the son of Maurice R. Robinson, who based Scholastic as a classroom journal in 1920. The youthful Robinson labored as a instructor and bricklayer, amongst different jobs, earlier than becoming a member of Scholastic within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. He was named president of in 1974, CEO in 1975 and board chair in 1982.
Robinson’s time at Scholastic was marked by international growth, by monetary ups and downs, even with the historic success of “Harry Potter,” and occasional battles with censors who objected to books like “Potter,” “Captain Underpants” and Alex Gino’s “George” as inappropriate for youthful readers. Scholastic books typically have been within the annual record of “challenged books” that’s compiled by the American Library Affiliation.
“We strongly imagine our books and magazines want to handle powerful matters which are related, even when we get backlash or boycotted,” Robinson instructed The Related Press in 2020.
Robinson additionally presided over historic adjustments within the enterprise and tradition, whether or not the rise of digital media or the elevated emphasis on range and scrutiny of the previous. In 2016, Scholastic pulled “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” an image story about certainly one of Washington’s slaves, after widespread allegations that the guide introduced a benign portrait of enslavement. This spring, Pilkey agreed to withdraw “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk” due to what he referred to as “dangerous racial stereotypes.”
Chatting with the AP final 12 months, Robinson stated that Scholastic aimed to teach readers in an even-handed means.
“We’re coping with points like international warming, racial inequality in a means that doesn’t polarize the difficulty however offers factors of views on each side and is a balanced impartial place however not in a way of being bland,” he stated. “Listed here are the arguments on the opposite. Here’s what persons are saying. Listed here are questions you may ask to formulate your personal view.”
Robinson is a former chair of the trade commerce group the Affiliation of American Publishers and a member of the Affiliation of Academic Publishers Corridor of Fame. In 2017, Robinson obtained an honorary Nationwide E book Award for his contributions to the literary neighborhood. Two years later, he was cited by PEN America for his contributions to free expression.
“Working with you and the workforce at Scholastic on Harry Potter has been some of the important and significant partnerships in my life,” Rowling, the British writer for whom Scholastic served because the U.S. writer of her Potter books, stated in a 2019 assertion supplied for the PEN award. “A singular relationship exists between authors and the publishers who’ve supported them — and also you, Dick, have supported me and my work in numerous, indescribable methods.”