Henry Holt (publisher)

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Henry Holt
Henry Gartf Holt

(1840-01-03)January 3, 1840
DiedFebruary 13, 1926(1926-02-13) (aged 86)
OccupationPublisher, author

Henry Gartf Holt (January 3, 1840 – February 13, 1926), was an American book publisher and author.


Life and career

Henry Holt was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 3, 1840. [1] He graduated from Yale University in 1862. [1] After a year at Columbia Law School he married Mary Florence West and left school for work. [1]

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Columbia Law School law school

Columbia Law School is a professional graduate school of Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League. It has always been ranked in the top five law schools in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Columbia is especially well known for its strength in corporate law and its placement power in the nation's elite law firms.

He joined the publishing company of Frederick Leypoldt in 1866, which became Henry Holt and Company in 1873. Holt's company specialized in publishing and did not sell books at retail. He remained active in the company until about 1916. [1]

Frederick Leypoldt German American publisher and bibliographer

Frederick Leypoldt was a German-American bibliographer, the founder of Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Index Medicus and other publications.

Henry Holt and Company is an American book publishing company based in New York City. One of the oldest publishers in the United States, it was founded in 1866 by Henry Holt and Frederick Leypoldt. Currently, the company publishes in the fields of American and international fiction, biography, history and politics, science, psychology, and health, as well as books for children's literature. In the US, it operates under Macmillan Publishers.

Seven years after his wife's death, he wed Florence Taber. Holt had 3 sons and 3 daughters. His son Roland Holt married famed dramatist Constance D'Arcy Mackay. [2] In 1905, Henry Holt's daughters Edith and Winifred co-founded the New York Association for the Blind, now known as Lighthouse International. Edith continued to be active with this charity, which provided the opportunity for blind people to do useful work. In response to critics she wrote "Some went as far as to say that it would be cruel to add to the burden of infirmity the burden of labor, as if to be without work were not the heaviest burden mortal could be called upon to endure."

Constance D'Arcy Mackay was an American author and playwright. She was a charter member of PEN International and authored over sixty plays in her time.

Winifred Holt sculptor and welfare worker with special attention to the blind.

Winifred Holt was an American sculptor and welfare worker who founded the New York Association for the Blind, still operating as Lighthouse International.

In 1914 Holt founded The Unpopular Review, later renamed The Unpartizan Review, which ceased publication in 1920. [1]

Holt also authored novels. Both Calire (1892) and Sturmsee: Man and Man (1905) were first published anonymously and then reissued under his name. The New York Times described them: "In Sturmsee the economic problems of the present day are treated in an interesting fashion. The theory of 'social service' is set forth in it., and there are many satirical touches. The scope of the other novel, Calmire, is somewhat broader." [1]

The entrance to Henry Holt's crypt at The Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY Henry Holt-SM Pettingill-Crypt.jpg
The entrance to Henry Holt's crypt at The Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Holt served on the Simplified Spelling Board, and was its President and the man to whom the Board's founding benefactor Andrew Carnegie addressed his 25 February 1915 letter expressing dissatisfaction with the progress of the board, saying of the board that "a more useless body of men never came into association, judging from the effects they produce." [3]

The Simplified Spelling Board was an American organization created in 1906 to reform the spelling of the English language, making it simpler and easier to learn, and eliminating many of what were considered to be its inconsistencies. The board operated until 1920, the year after the death of its founding benefactor, who had come to criticize the progress and approach of the organization.

Andrew Carnegie American businessman and philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist.

Holt published his autobiography, Garrulities of an Octogenarian Editor in 1923. [4]

He died at his home in New York City on February 13, 1926 and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Henry Holt, Novelist.; The Well-Known Publisher the Author of 'Sturmsee' and 'Calmire.'", The New York Times. Accessed 6 January 2011.
  2. Davis, Brook M. American National Biography Online http://www.anb.org/articles/18/18-03784.html . Retrieved 11 January 2015.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Carnegie, Andrew. "My views about Improved Spelling 1906-1915", Columbia University, Brander Matthews' Manuscript Collection, 893
  4. Kessinger Publishing, 2005, ISBN   1-4179-1813-6

Further reading