Literary agent Morton Janklow, who negotiated book deals for bestselling authors that included multiple president and Pope John Paul II, died at the age of 91.
His death on Wednesday was confirmed by his company Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
His clients included Danielle Steel, Judith Krantz, three presidents and a pope. Morton L. Janklow, the literary agent for countless best-selling authors, has died at 91. https://t.co/vDLQm3Calh
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) May 26, 2022
A legend in the industry
“Mr. Janklow was arguably America’s most powerful independent literary agent,” the New York Times reported.
R.I.P. Mort Janklow, agent who raised the business of agenting from mediator to advocate and won margin for the author: “We took the publisher out of the captain’s seat and put the author in it.The publisher is replaceable; the author is not.” https://t.co/ixPJ9k6LFb
— William Clark (@william_m_clark) May 26, 2022
“His agency represented such hugely successful commercial writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, and Judith Krantz. It also represented Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan, as well as Pope John Paul II, whose collection of essays, ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope,’ was published around the world in 1994,” it added.
Changing the industry
Morton Janklow, Groundbreaking Literary Agent, Dies at 91 https://t.co/XcZlVI5CAW
— Variety (@Variety) May 26, 2022
“By the 1980s, he was routinely securing multimillion-dollar contracts for writers, including several deals that exceeded $25 million. Due in large part to Janklow, agents became the first to see the work of unknown authors,” Variety reported.
“It was an agent’s judgments, often based on sales potential and not public interest, that largely determined what publishers bought and presented to the public,” it added.
Janklow’s agency was co-founded in 1989 and he co-led it as chairman until his passing.
A Syracuse graduate, he founded the Janklow Arts Leadership Program and remained connected with the university.
His impact extended far beyond his life through the many authors and books nurtured under his guidance over decades of dedication.