George P. Brockway, former president and chairman of publishing house W.W. Norton & Co., died Oct. 5 in Chappaqua, N.Y., after a long illness. He was 85 and was credited with keeping the firm independent and employee-owned.
He served as president 1958-1976 and then chairman until 1984, at which point he retired. During his tenure, Norton published numerous books that inspired TV programs and films. Among the bestsellers published during that time were Betty Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique,” Fawn Brodie’s “Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History,” Judge John Sirica’s “To Set the Record Straight” (about the Watergate case) and Norman Cousins’ “Anatomy of an Illness.”
Brockway and a colleague also bought the book rights to Robert F. Kennedy’s account of the Cuban missile crisis, “Thirteen Days,” which became a bestseller.
Brockway additionally created the Norton Anthologies in the 1950s, a still-continuing series of collections of writings that have sold more than 20 million copies.