Helen Honig Meyer, who worked her way through the ranks of Dell Publishing to become one of the first women to lead a major publishing company, died April 21 in Livingston, N.J. She was 95.
She began working for Dell in 1923 and was the firm’s president and chief executive from the early 1950s until it was sold to Doubleday & Co. in 1976.
During that time, she pushed for and championed a profitable line of comicbooks featuring Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, and led the firm into hardback publishing with Delacorte Press.
Authors who signed with Dell during her tenure included Kurt Vonnegut, James Baldwin, James Jones, and Irwin Shaw. After Dell was sold, Meyer worked as a consultant until her contract ended in 1982. She then became a literary agent, representing some Dell hardcover authors, including James Clavell.
Meyer, who was born in Brooklyn, attended New York City public schools. She was inducted into the Publishers Hall of Fame in 1986.