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Robert Gottlieb Dead: Legendary Editor Was 92

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Robert Gottlieb, an editor extraordinaire who worked with writers as varied as Toni Morrison, John le Carré, Michael Crichton, Robert Caro and Bill Clinton, died Wednesday at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 92.

Gottlieb’s death was confirmed to the New York Times by his wife, actor Maria Tucci.

Working at publishers Simon & Schuster and Alfred A. Knopf, Gottlieb’s impressive record of shepherding manuscripts into well-regarded, sometimes bestselling and award-winning works earned him a towering reputation among literary elite. John Cheever, Joseph Heller, Doris Lessing, Chaim Potok and Ray Bradbury were among his clients, along with Katharine Graham, the once publisher of the Washington Post.

Born in 1931, Gottlieb was raised in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University in 1952 and received a graduate degree from Cambridge two years later.

In 1987, Gottlieb left publishing to become the third editor of the New Yorker, replacing William Shawn in a then-contentious shift in leadership. He stayed with the publication through 1992, then returning to publishing at Simon & Schuster. His autobiography, “Avid Reader: A Life,” was published in 2016.

Gottlieb was a subject of the documentary “Turn Every Page,” which premiered at Tribeca Festival in 2022. Directed by his daughter Lizzie, the feature focused on Gottlieb’s relationship with Caro, whose million-word manuscript of “The Power Broker” was shaped into its final form by Gottlieb. In his review, Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote “what these two aging but vital figures keep telling us, with the spiky affection of their cross-referential camaraderie, is what publishing can be: a holy quest to create something that binds readers the way religion does.”

Gottlieb is survived by his wife, his children and his twin grandsons.



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