Simon & Schuster announced “with great sadness” that renowned vp and editorial director Alice Mayhew, 87, died peacefully at home earlier today. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
She joined Simon & Schuster in 1971 (following editorial positions and Harper & Row and Random House). CEO Carolyn Reidy writes that, “In her nearly fifty years here she established herself as a true mainstay of our publishing efforts, editing a distinguished list of writers in history, biography, journalism, politics, contemporary affairs and popular culture. Four authors published by her were awarded the Pulitzer Prize—Taylor Branch, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Diane McWhorter and Garry Wills—and many others received prestigious honors and recognitions.”
She adds, “While Alice will always be remembered as the editor of the groundbreaking Watergate exposé ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (and as the editor of every one of Bob’s works since then), her long and illustrious list of authors reads like a who’s who of the best and the bestselling in nonfiction over the past five decades.”
She notes, “Those of us who worked with Alice…knew her to be sharp, direct and astute; she could be tough, but her passion, enthusiasm and wisdom were always expressed in the service of bringing out the best work possible from her authors, and then assuring that they received the best possible publication they could expect to receive…. Not least, her office was a training ground for innumerable assistants who went on to great accomplishments and careers in book publishing and related fields.”
Reidy concludes, “It is difficult to imagine Simon & Schuster without Alice and her unrelenting energy: her contribution to our company and our culture has been immense, and she will be deeply missed both here and in the larger literary community.”