Scholastic CEO praised by Harry Potter’s JK Rowling after passing
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J.K. Rowling apology
J.K. Rowling praised the longtime head of the U.S. publisher of her "Harry Potter" books as an ally and early defender of the beloved fantasy series on Monday.
Richard Robinson, who led Scholastic Inc. for more than 40 years, died on June 5 at 84.
"Dick was a wise, kind and humane man, who leaves behind him an extraordinary legacy in the world of children’s literature," Rowling said in a statement Monday. "He was an early champion of Harry Potter and a stalwart support to me through the twenty-four years we knew each other."
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Robinson presided over historic changes in the business and culture, whether the rise of digital media or the increased emphasis on diversity and scrutiny of the past.
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"We strongly believe our books and magazines need to address tough topics that are relevant, even if we get backlash or boycotted," Robinson told The Associated Press in 2020.
Robinson was a champion of literacy and free expression who in 2017 received a National Book Award for lifetime achievement and was honored two years later by PEN America.
Under his leadership, Scholastic became the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and has long claimed it distributes 1 out of every 3 children’s books in the U.S. The publicly-traded company’s estimated net worth is around $1.2 billion, down from over $1.6 billion in 2016 but well above a low of under $800 million during last year’s pandemic.