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Goodbye, George

Paul Zelinsky, Roger Sutton, George Nicholson at Elizabeth Law's apartment; photo by Elizabeth Law

Roger Sutton, Paul Zelinsky, and George Nicholson at Elizabeth Law’s apartment; photo by Elizabeth Law

Back from ALA to the sad news that George Nicholson, whom I had first met at an ALA, more than thirty years ago, has died. I first knew George when he was publisher at Dell; he later moved over to Harper and then to a successful second career as an agent, at Sterling Lord Literistic. He was a very kind man, scarily well-read, deceptively soft-spoken, and had great hair. Those Yearling and Laurel-Leaf paperbacks you grew up with? Thank George. Leonard Marcus interviewed him for us back in 2007; go take a look.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Thank you, Roger.

  2. My deepest condolences on this obviously great and beloved man’s passing.

  3. I learned so much from this interview, and newly appreciate what a trove Mr. Nicholson was. Thank you for reprinting this!

  4. Sharon McQueen says:

    I first met George when KT Horning suggested I interview him for my doctoral dissertation on “The Story of Ferdinand.” May Massee had ushered the book into the world and George had subsequently held Massee’s position as head of Viking Children’s Books. I fell instantly in love with this gentle man. We continued to correspond and meet at conferences over the years. When I finally had chapters to share, George read them all, encouraging me along the way with supportive notes that were candy to my eyes, such as, “You write so well, I did laugh several times. More, more. George.” In the end he offered to serve as my agent, which delighted me no end. Working with George was lovely but the loss I feel most deeply is the loss of my charming, witty, Dear Friend. See you later, George.

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