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Graham C. Greene, founding member of the Booker Prize, dies aged 80

Graham C. Greene, founding member of the Booker Prize, dies aged 80

Leading publishing figure Graham C. Greene CBE, who was instrumental in the founding of the Booker Prize, died aged 80 on Monday 10 October.

Recently a director of literary agency Ed Victor Ltd, Greene was formerly md of Jonathan Cape and chairman of major imprints Chatto & Windus, Jonathan Cape and Bodley Head, working alongside Tom Maschler. The two are credited with coming up with the idea of the Booker Prize, as a UK and Commonwealth equivalent to the Prix Goncourt.

Ed Victor told The Bookseller last week:

'People don’t really remember any more the amazing contributions Graham made to the publishing business. He was the managing director of Jonathan Cape in its very dominant years in the 60s and 70s. He was the architect of the merger of Cape Chatto and Bodley Head and the sale of that group to Random House. He opened up China to copyright when he was head of the Publishers Association, a very young man, and he led the first missions to China which ended up in them becoming signatories to the Universal Copyright Convention. So he has some extraordinary achievements in publishing.'

Greene's son and stepdaughter, Alexander Greene and Charlotte Horton, told the magazine: 'Graham C. Greene was a great cultural ambassador. His interests lay in many fields across the arts and politics. He was a kind friend and a wise mentor to a vast and varied number of people from all walks of life from all over the world. He will be missed.'