Doubleday (publisher)

Last updated
Doubleday Publishing.png
Parent company Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Penguin Random House)
Founded1897;125 years ago (1897)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location New York City
Publication typesBooks
Official website

Doubleday is an American publishing company. It was founded as the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 and was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors under a number of imprints and distributed them through its own stores. In 2009 Doubleday merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is now part of Penguin Random House. In 2019, the official website presents Doubleday as an imprint, not a publisher.



The firm was founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 by Frank Nelson Doubleday in partnership with Samuel Sidney McClure. [1] McClure had founded the first U.S. newspaper syndicate in 1884 (McClure Syndicate) and the monthly McClure's Magazine in 1893. One of their first bestsellers was The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling, a short story collection that Macmillan published in Britain late in 1898. Other authors published by the company in its early years include W. Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad.[ when? ] Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. later served as a vice-president of the company.[ when? ]

The partnership ended in 1900. McClure and John Sanborn Phillips, the co-founder of his magazine, formed McClure, Phillips and Company. Doubleday and Walter Hines Page formed Doubleday, Page & Company.

The racist but best-selling novels of Thomas Dixon Jr. ( The Leopard's Spots , 1902; The Clansman , 1905) "changed a struggling publishing venture into the empire that Doubleday was to become". At the same time, Doubleday helped Dixon launch his writing career. Page and Dixon were both from North Carolina and had known each other in Raleigh. [2]

In 1910, Doubleday, Page & Co. moved its operations, which included a train station, to Garden City. [3] The company purchased much of the land on the east side of Franklin Avenue, and estate homes were built for many of its executives on Fourth Street. Co-founder and Garden City resident Walter Hines Page was named Ambassador to Great Britain in 1916. In 1922 the company founded its juvenile department, the second in the nation, with May Massee as head. [4] The founder's son Nelson Doubleday joined the firm in the same year.

In 1927, Doubleday, Page merged with the George H. Doran Company, creating Doubleday, Doran, then the largest publishing business in the English-speaking world.[ citation needed ] Doubleday Canada Limited launches in the thirties. [5] In 1944, Doubleday, Doran acquired the Philadelphia medical publisher Blakiston. [6] In 1946, the company became Doubleday and Company. Nelson Doubleday resigned as president, but continued as chairman of the board until his death on January 11, 1949. Douglas Black took over as president from 1946 to 1963. His tenure attracted numerous public figures to the publishing company, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Taft, and André Malraux. He was a strong opponent of censorship and felt that it was his responsibility to the American public to publish controversial titles. Black also expanded Doubleday's publishing program by opening two new printing plants; creating a new line of quality paperbacks, under the imprint Anchor Books; attracting new book clubs to its book club division; opening 30 new retail stores in 25 cities; and opening new editorial offices in San Francisco, London, and Paris. [7] [8]

By 1947, Doubleday was the largest publisher in the US, with annual sales of over 30 million books.[ citation needed ] In 1954, Doubleday sold Blakiston to McGraw-Hill. [9]

Doubleday's son-in-law John Sargent was president and CEO from 1963 to 1978. In 1964, Doubleday acquired the educational publisher Laidlaw. [10]

In 1967 the company purchased the Dallas-based Trigg-Vaughn group of radio and TV stations to create Doubleday Broadcasting. [11] After expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, Doubleday sold the broadcasting division in 1986. [12]

Nelson Doubleday, Jr. succeeded John Sargent as president and CEO from 1978 to 1985. In 1976, Doubleday bought paperback publisher Dell Publishing. [13] In 1980, the company bought the New York Mets baseball team. [11] The Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series in 1986 in a 7-game contest. In 1981, Doubleday promoted James R. McLaughlin to the presidency of Dell Publishing. [14]

Sales slowed in the early eighties and earnings fell precipitously. Doubleday, Jr., brought James McLaughlin over (from subsidiary Dell) to help streamline and downsize. McLaughlin went on to succeed Doubleday, Jr., as president and CEO, with Doubleday, Jr., becoming chairman of the board. [15]

By 1986 the firm was a fully integrated international communications company, doing trade publishing, mass-market paperback publishing, book clubs, and book manufacturing, together with ventures in broadcasting and advertising. The company had offices in London and Paris and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with joint ventures in the UK and the Netherlands. Nelson Doubleday, Jr. sold the publishing company to Bertelsmann in 1986 for a reported $475 million, with James R. McLaughlin resigning on December 17, 1986. [16] [17] The deal did not include the Mets which Nelson Doubleday and minority owner Fred Wilpon had purchased from Doubleday & Company for $85 million. In 2002, Doubleday sold his stake in the Mets to Wilpon for $135 million after a feud over the monetary value of the team. [18] [19] After the purchase, Bertelsmann sold Laidlaw to Macmillan Inc. [20]

In 1988, portions of the firm became part of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, which in turn became a division of Random House in 1998. [21] Doubleday was combined in a group with Broadway Books, Anchor Books was combined with Vintage Books as a division of Knopf, while Bantam and Dell became a separate group. [22]

In 1996, Doubleday founded the Christian publisher WaterBrook Press. [23] WaterBrook acquired Harold Shaw Publishers in 2000 and Multnomah Publishers in 2006. [24] [25]

In late 2008 and early 2009, the Doubleday imprint merged with Knopf Publishing Group to form the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. [26] In October 2008, Doubleday laid off about 10% of its staff (16 people) across all departments. [27] The Broadway, Doubleday Business, Doubleday Religion, and WaterBrook Multnomah divisions were moved to Crown Publishing Group. [28]


Notable editors

Notable authors

Notable employees


The following are imprints that exist or have existed under Doubleday:


See also

Related Research Articles

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. The company has several independently managed subsidiaries around the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frank Nelson Doubleday</span> American publisher (1862–1934)

Frank Nelson Doubleday, known to friends and family as “Effendi”, founded the Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897, which later operated under other names. Starting work at the age of 14 after his father's business failed, Doubleday began with Charles Scribner's Sons in New York.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon & Schuster</span> American publishing company

Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of Paramount Global. It was founded in New York City on January 2, 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was the third largest publisher in the United States, publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dell Comics</span> American comic book publisher

Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1974. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world's largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alfred A. Knopf</span> American publishing house

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is an American publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group division of Penguin Random House which is owned by the German conglomerate Bertelsmann. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, which was designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">E. P. Dutton</span> Former American book publishing company

E. P. Dutton was an American book publishing company. It was founded as a book retailer in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852 by Edward Payson Dutton. Since 1986, it has been an imprint of Penguin Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">G. P. Putnam's Sons</span> US book publisher, under this name from 1872

G. P. Putnam's Sons is an American book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bantam Books</span> Publisher from the USA

Bantam Books is an American publishing house owned entirely by parent company Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House; it is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. It was formed in 1945 by Walter B. Pitkin, Jr., Sidney B. Kramer, and Ian and Betty Ballantine, with funding from Grosset & Dunlap and Curtis Publishing Company. It has since been purchased several times by companies including National General, Carl Lindner's American Financial and, most recently, Bertelsmann; it became part of Random House in 1998, when Bertelsmann purchased it to form Bantam Doubleday Dell. It began as a mass market publisher, mostly of reprints of hardcover books, with some original paperbacks as well. It expanded into both trade paperback and hardcover books, including original works, often reprinted in house as mass-market editions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nelson Doubleday Jr.</span> American businessman

Nelson Doubleday Jr. was the owner and the next-to-last president and CEO of Doubleday and Company before its sale to Bertelsmann A.G. in 1986. He was instrumental in the company's purchase of the New York Mets in 1980.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vintage Books</span> American publishing imprint

Vintage Books is a trade paperback publishing imprint of Penguin Random House originally established by Alfred A. Knopf in 1954. The company was purchased by Random House in April 1960, and a British division was set up in 1990. After Random House merged with Bantam Doubleday Dell, Doubleday's Anchor Books trade paperback line was added to the same division as Vintage. Following Random House's merger with Penguin, Vintage was transferred to Penguin UK.

David McKay Publications was an American book publisher which also published some of the first comic books, including the long-running titles Ace Comics, King Comics, and Magic Comics; as well as collections of such popular comic strips as Blondie, Dick Tracy, and Mandrake the Magician. McKay was also the publisher of the Fodor's travel guides.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dell Publishing</span> American publisher

Dell Publishing Company, Inc. is an American publisher of books, magazines and comic books, that was founded in 1921 by George T. Delacorte Jr. with $10,000, two employees and one magazine title, I Confess, and soon began turning out dozens of pulp magazines, which included penny-a-word detective stories, articles about films, and romance books.

The Crown Publishing Group is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House that publishes across several fiction and non-fiction categories. Originally founded in 1933 as a remaindered books wholesaler called Outlet Book Company, the firm expanded into publishing original content in 1936 under the Crown name, and was acquired by Random House in 1988. Under Random House's ownership, the Crown Publishing Group was operated as an independent division until 2018, when it was merged with the rest of Random House's adult programs.

Atheneum Books was a New York City publishing house established in 1959 by Alfred A. Knopf, Jr., Simon Michael Bessie and Hiram Haydn. Simon & Schuster has owned Atheneum properties since its acquisition of Macmillan in 1994 and it created Atheneum Books for Young Readers as an imprint for children's books in the 2000s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transworld Publishers</span> British publishing house

Transworld Publishers Ltd. is a British publishing house in Ealing, London that is a division of Penguin Random House, one of the world's largest mass media groups. It was established in 1950 as the British division of American company Bantam Books. It publishes fiction and non fiction titles by various best-selling authors including Val Wood under several different imprints. Hardbacks are either published under the Doubleday or the Bantam Press imprint, whereas paperbacks are published under the Black Swan, Bantam or Corgi imprint.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Broadway Books</span> American book publisher

Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a Division of Random House, Inc., released its first list in Fall, 1996. Broadway was founded in 1995 as a unit of Bantam Doubleday Dell a unit of Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998 and merged Broadway into a combined group with Doubleday the next year. Random House reorganized again in 2008, with Doubleday moving to Knopf and Broadway moving to its current home at Crown. Broadway's general-interest publishing was combined with Crown in 2010. Broadway became the paperback publishing for the Crown imprint in 2010.

Macmillan Inc. is a defunct American book publishing company. Originally established as the American division of the British Macmillan Publishers, the two were later separated and acquired by other companies, with the remnants of the original American division of Macmillan present in McGraw-Hill Education's Macmillan/McGraw-Hill textbooks, Gale's Macmillan Reference USA division, and some trade imprints of Simon & Schuster that were transferred when both companies were owned by Paramount Communications. The German publisher Holtzbrinck, which bought the British Macmillan in 1999, purchased US rights to the Macmillan name in 2001 and rebranded its American division with it in 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Random House of Canada</span> Canadian book distributor

Random House of Canada was the Canadian distributor for Random House, Inc. from 1944 until 2013. On July 1, 2013, it amalgamated with Penguin Canada to become Penguin Random House Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penguin Random House</span> Multinational conglomerate publishing company

Penguin Random House LLC is a multinational conglomerate publishing company formed in 2013 from the merger of Penguin Group and Random House.

Phyllis E. Grann is a former book editor and publishing executive. She was the first female CEO of a major publishing firm, Penguin Putnam, and one of the most commercially successful publishers in recent history. She was a long-time editor for Knopf Doubleday, and a former CEO of the Putnam Berkley Group and was also CEO of Penguin Putnam. Grann was responsible for publishing many notable and bestselling authors at Penguin including A. Scott Berg, Judy Blume, Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, Daniel Silva, and Kurt Vonnegut. At Doubleday Grann acquired and edited Jeffrey Toobin, Tina Brown, Bob Herbert, Ayelet Waldman and Tim Weiner. At Knopf she edited John Darnton.


  1. "History".
  2. Rohauer, Raymond (1984). "Postscript". In Crewe, Karen (ed.). Southern Horizons. The Autobiography of Thomas Dixon. Alexandria, Virginia: IWV Publishing. p. 325. OCLC   11398740.
  3. "" . Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  4. Hodowanec, George V., ed. (1979). "THE MAY MASSEE COLLECTION" (PDF). Emporia State University. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  5. "Company history". Penguin Random House . Archived from the original on 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  6. "Books -- Authors". The New York Times. 1944-06-02. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  7. "Daphne Du Maurier Letters to Douglas Black (C0858) -- Daphne Du Maurier Letters to Douglas Black". Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  8. "DOUGLAS M. BLACK, 81; EX-DOUBLEDAY CHIEF; A Founder of Publishers Group Was Strong Foe of Censorship Life Trustee of Columbia" . Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  9. "BLAKISTON BOOKS SOLD; McGraw-Hill Acquires Medical Subsidiary of Doubleday". The New York Times. 1954-10-18. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  10. "DOUBLEDAY BUYS TEXTBOOK HOUSE; Publisher Acquires Laidlaw Brothers of Illinois". The New York Times. 1964-02-17. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  11. 1 2 New York Media, LLC (7 February 1983). "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC: 55–. ISSN   0028-7369.
  12. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1 March 1986). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 10–. ISSN   0006-2510.
  13. Krebs, Albin (1976-04-30). "It's Official: Doubleday Acquires Dell". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  14. Sloane, Leonard (11 March 1981). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Doubleday Appoints New Dell President". The New York Times.
  15. Grimes, William (June 17, 2015). "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher and Mets Buyer, Dies at 81". The New York Times . Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  16. 1 2 McDowell, Edwin (December 18, 1986). "German Firm Completes Acquisition of Doubleday". The New York Times .
  17. Mcdowell, Edwin (1986-10-01). "PENGUIN AGREES TO BUY NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  18. Sandomir, Richard (2002-08-14). "Baseball; Owners Of Mets Make A Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  19. Grimes, William (18 June 2015). "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher Who Owned the Mets, Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  20. Storch, Charles. "47% OF STAFF AT LAIDLAW GET THE AX". Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  21. "West German-based firm buys Doubleday and Co". Tri City Herald. Associated Press. 1986-09-28. Retrieved 2010-03-24.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)[ permanent dead link ]
  22. Carvajal, Doreen (1999-05-28). "Bertelsmann Is Reorganizing Random House". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  23. "New President, Publisher For WaterBrook Press". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  24. "PW: RH Acquires Harold Shaw". Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  25. Interface, Saxotech (2006-08-03). "Multnomah Publishers sold to Random House". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  26. "Shakeups hit Random House, other publishers | Crain's New York Business". 3 December 2008. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  27. Rich, Motoko (2008-10-28). "Doubleday Publishing Lays Off 10% of Its Employees". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  28. Rich, Motoko (2008-12-03). "Major Reorganization at Random House". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  29. "The Stoic" . Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  30. "The Evening News". Publishers Weekly. March 1990. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  31. Fargnoli, A. Nicholas; Golay, Michael (2009). Critical Companion to William Faulkner. Infobase Publishing. ISBN   9781438108599.
  32. "Doubleday Bookstores merged into B. Dalton". Retrieved 2016-12-15.