Revered New York Review of Books editor, the man who helped champion writers from Norman Mailer to Zadie Smith, dies aged 87 after a short illness.
Robert B Silvers served as founding editor of the magazine for more than 53 years. Ranging from WH Auden, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal in its very first issue in 1963, to Zadie Smith, JM Coetzee and Vivian Gornick, the publication he created commissioned the biggest and best writers in the world.
“One trait of his that I particularly admired was his ability to know which subject outside a contributor’s main interest would particularly interest that contributor. For example he knew that Stephen Jay Gould, the late well-known paleontologist and historian of science, loved baseball. He commissioned Gould to write about a half-dozen pieces on baseball, in addition to his pieces on evolution and other matters of science,” Hederman (Review publisher) wrote.
Hederman noted that Silvers had been working as editor until two weeks before his death.