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Maxwell Perkins
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    (September 20, 1884-June 17, 1947)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Birth name was William Maxwell Evarts Perkins
    Editor for the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons
    Edited ‘This Side of Paradise,’ ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Tender Is the Night’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘The Sun Also Rises,’ ‘A Farewell to Arms’ ‘Death in the Afternoon’ and ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ by Ernest Hemingway and ‘Look Homeward Angel’ and ‘Of Time and the River’ by Thomas Wolfe
    He was so absentminded that he once failed to recognize his boss when Charles Scribner entered his office.
    He fell out with Fitzgerald (over the author’s drinking) and Wolfe (over Wolfe’s jealousy at how much credit Perkins received for turning the author’s sprawling drafts into readable novels).
    Oddly for an editor, his personal letters were sloppy in spelling and punctuation.
    He discovered three of the greatest American authors of the 20th century and got them published despite considerable opposition from older colleagues at Scribner’s.
    At an editorial meeting to convince Scribner’s to publish Fitzgerald’s first novel, he said, ‘My feeling is that a publisher’s first allegiance is to talent. And if we aren’t going to publish talent like this, it is a very serious thing.’
    He continued loaning money to Fitzgerald even after the author had left Scribner’s.
    Near the end of his life, Fitzgerald wrote to him, ‘Max, you are the only person who never lost faith in me.’
    He had 68 books dedicated to him – probably the record for any editor.

Credit: C. Fishel

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