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Jean E. Karl


Dec 16, 2021

Jean Edna Karl (July 29, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois March 30, 2000 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania) was an American book editor who specialized in children‘s and science fiction titles. She founded and led the children’s division and young adult and science fiction imprints at Atheneum Books, where she oversaw or edited books that won two Caldecott Medals and five Newbery Medals. One of the Newberys went to the new writer E. L. Konigsburg in 1968 for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.[1][2][3]

Jean E. Karl
Born Jean Edna Karl
July 29, 1927
Chicago, Illinois
Died March 30, 2000(2000-03-30) (aged 72)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Occupation Editor, author
Language English
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Education B.A., 1949
Alma mater Mount Union College
Period 1949–c.1999
Genre Children’s literature, science fiction
Notable works As author,
From Childhood to Childhood: Children’s Books and Their Creators

. . . Jean E. Karl . . .

Karl was born and raised in Chicago. She graduated from the Methodist Church-affiliated[4]Mount Union College in 1949 and immediately began work in the book industry, initially at Scott Foresman in Chicago (Dick and Jane readers[2][3]), then at the Methodist Church-owned[1]Abingdon Press in New York City (children’s editor[3]). The founder of Atheneum, Alfred A. Knopf, Jr. personally recruited her in 1961 to establish the Atheneum Books for Young Readers division[2][3][5] which she led until she retired. There she started the imprints Aladdin Paperbacks (mass market children’s) and Atheneum Argo (young-adult science fiction [hardcover[2]]).[3] Atheneum is now part of Simon & Schuster.[1][5][lower-alpha 1]

After retiring in 1985 she continued to edit books (as Atheneum editor-at-large[3]) almost until her death in 2000. She died at a hospice in Lancaster with no immediate survivors.[1]

She was long active in the Children’s Book Council which she served as president,[3] and in the Association of American Publishers.[2]

. . . Jean E. Karl . . .

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. . . Jean E. Karl . . .